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Museum to showcase work of school nurses

Grand Rapids — An upcoming exhibit at the Grand Rapids Public Museum will include contributions from Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Kim Baron, director of school health services, helped coordinate the project which includes donations representing the work of school nurses over the last three decades. Some of the more notable items on exhibit will include a supplemental oxygen tank used at a preschool that served students who had chronic health conditions, an audiometer for hearing screenings, a nebulizer machine for breathing treatments, COVID-19 tests and a school nurse vest with fun characters embroidered on it that district school nurses used to wear.

“I wanted to share the work that school nurses do because I think this is an area of nursing that is misunderstood,” Baron said. “Our nurses have been working in GRPS for over 30 years, but the pandemic brought our work to the forefront more than ever before. 

“Our school nurses are incredibly smart public health nurses who provide case management, critical thinking in emergent situations and are experts in connecting students and families with the right services to meet their needs. It is an important nursing role that many people know very little about.”

Baron added that her hope is the upcoming museum exhibit might change that dynamic a little.

“This exhibit shows how healthcare has changed to meet the needs of our community,” she said. “It shows all the different roles that healthcare professionals have, how they impact the community, how their roles change over time,and the advancements that have been made in the fields of medicine and nursing because of research and scientific study.”

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Phil de Haan
Phil de Haan covers East Grand Rapids and Kelloggsville and is the lead reporter for Grand Rapids. He hails from Exeter, Ontario (but has called Grand Rapids home since 1985) and is the son of a longtime public school teacher who taught both English and machine shop. Phil took both classes at South Huron District High School, but English stuck, and at Calvin College, where he met his wife, Sue, he majored in English and minored in journalism. His background includes both journalism and public relations, including teaching an advertising and PR course at the college level for almost a decade. In the summer of 2019, he began his own writing and communications business, de Haan Communications. In his spare time, Phil plays pick-up hockey and pickleball and tries to keep tabs on his two adult children. Read Phil's full bio

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