Western Carolina University – School of Nursing partners with Haywood County for improved pediatric care

Kae Livsey, an associate professor in the School of Nursing at Western Carolina University, has received a $10,000 award from the United States Department of Health and Human Services to help improve child care in Haywood County.

The P4 Challenge Phase I award was chosen from 240 entries from across the country to increase youth health care attendance and improve vaccination coverage. The P4 Challenge is offered by the Maternal and Child Health Office of the Health Resources Services Administration, which supports research and programs and invests in staff training to ensure the health and well-being of mothers, children and families.

As part of the “Keep Haywood Healthy” project, the School of Nursing partners with Haywood County Schools to offer a competition between county public high schools and high schools to promote visits to good children. The winning high school and high school with the largest percentage of students providing documentation to school nurses about a completed visit to an affluent child in the past year will each receive a cash prize of $2,000. If the “Keep Haywood Healthy” project succeeds, the university, the winning schools and the community can receive additional prize money.

“Many students and families think that sports physics and visits to children are the same, but they are different,” says Livsey. Welfare visits are important annual visits to keep children healthy and protected. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer children received these visits this year than last year.

The School of Nursing also partners with Haywood County Health and Human Services, and Haywood Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, along with other local pediatric primary care providers.

“We are excited to work with these partners in Haywood County to support adolescent wellbeing,” said Livsey, who will lead the local campaign. “This project not only supports better access to child visits, but also provides valuable learning experiences for our nursing students.”

Other aspects of the project include educational programs and resources for parents and students, along with financial and other assistance for students who may have issues limiting their access to these visits, including pop-up clinics supported by area providers and the School of nursing.

More information about the school challenge will be sent to families of enrolled students in Haywood County high schools and high schools, as well as the launch of a social media campaign and the planning of pop-up clinics. For more information, contact Livsey at klivsey@wcu.edu or 828-654-6523.

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