Keeping Linda Juszczak’s Legacy Alive

By Anna Burns, Outreach and Engagement Associate, School-Based Health Alliance

2015 ConventionIn 2014, the School-Based Health Alliance’s Board of Directors established the Linda Juszczak Legacy Fund to honor the memory of former Alliance President Linda Juszczak. Linda dedicated her career to improving the health of children and adolescents. For 35 years, Linda served as a pediatric nurse practitioner and a fierce advocate for adolescent access to health care. She believed firmly that school-based health care was the best way to ensure students have access to the quality, comprehensive health care services they deserve.

The Linda Juszczak Legacy Fund keeps her legacy alive by developing future leaders who can follow in her footsteps. Thanks to donations to the fund, we were able to offer five scholarships to the 2015 National School-Based Health Care Convention to students enrolled in masters or doctorate programs in nursing, medicine, social work, public health, or public policy. The recipients broadened their knowledge of current issues in school-based health care, had the opportunity to network with their peers, and were inspired to continue striving to advance our field.

Courtney Averill, Program Assistant at Children’s Aid Society, MPP student, New York University: “The National School-Based Health Care Convention was a great learning experience. The convention brought to the forefront the many challenges we face in the wake of Medicaid redesign and as we strive to achieve holistic patient-centered health homes. I found the most helpful takeaways to be the networking with school-based health center (SBHC) leaders and to learn about the sustainability of our programs.”

Michelle Brady, DNP student, University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing: “Receiving the Linda Juszczak Legacy Scholarship afforded me the opportunity to attend the conference and network with many experts in the field. Meeting with others outside of the typical clinical functions of an SBHC has opened my eyes to the importance of partnering with others in the community and the role each plays in the health of the students and the families served by our health centers.”

Carole Eatock, Family Nurse Practitioner, DNP student, University of Illinois: “It was wonderful to see the layers of the organization present including the CEOs, CFOs, medical directors, nurse practitioners, nurses, medical office assistants, and secretaries. I feel when you have the entire team present they buy into the model, understand the importance, and are on board to move the health centers forward. I would like to foster the same commitment in my school health center as we take our next steps.”

Therese Hidalgo, DNP, University of New Mexico College of Nursing: “I am so grateful to be a part of this movement with my own scholarly project, which is developing a shared vaccine program to overcome operational barriers SBHCs deal with.”

Judith Pierce, MPH student, University of Washington Seattle: “I felt honored to be one of the first Linda Juszczak scholarship winners. At the conference, I was inspired by the creativity school-based health advocates and direct service providers use in order to expand and enhance services for students. I also appreciated the atmosphere and spirit of learning I found in each workshop, among attendees and presenters alike.”

As we strive to reach our goals of growing the number of SBHCs by 30 percent and having 50 percent of all SBHCs annually report key standardized performance measures by 2018, developing future leaders will be critical. Donations to the Linda Juszczak Legacy Fund help us provide opportunities for professional and leadership growth to the next generation of school-based health care leaders. If you’d like to make a contribution to the Legacy Fund, please click here:

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