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KidStrong Conference, Immunization Summit Under Way

Reported by: Send eMail Katelyn Sykes
Reported: Jun. 17, 2014 12:14 PM EDT
Updated: Jun. 17, 2014 2:28 PM EDT
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KidStrong Conference
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Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

School administrators from all over West Virginia are in Charleston for the next two days, working to find ways to help children succeed in the classroom.

It’s the KidStrong Conference and Immunization Summit, which is bringing about 1,000 school officials, including counselors, teachers and nurses, such as Shelly Kerene, together.

"Every year I learn something new,” Kerene said. “Whether it be for my diabetics, new policies and procedures that's happening for the state. It's always something new every year."

Kerene is a nurse at a Preston County school and is taking part in this year’s KidStrong Conference. Participants get to take part in 12 different sessions all related to the health of West Virginia students.

"We have school personnel and we have community members from 55 counties represented here today,” said Rebecca King, school health coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education. “We want them to walk away with professional development pieces in a little bit of everything so they can go back and serve the children in our public school system."

It’s important because the health field is an ever changing industry, and health and school officials want to be up to date and on top of those changes. That is why for the fifth year the Immunization Summit is partnering with KidStrong, so both conferences happen together.

"They have a lot of school nurses and health care professionals from school based clinics so we hold our conferences in conjunction and our attendees can cross over from one conference to the other," said Elaine Darling, program manager for the West Virginia Immunization Network.

Working to keep outbreaks such as measles, mumps and pertussis that are happening in our neighboring states from happening here.

"The conference really provides an opportunity for health care providers to come together from across the state of West Virginia and talk about ways of improving vaccination rates in the state, how to prevent outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases and talk about vaccination trends as well," Darling said.

But it’s also bringing state officials together to network so they can hear about what is going on in other counties, bring it back to their home county, so they can better take care of kids.

King said year after year "we find that academic achievement and student success have to have supports and these are the supports our children need to be successful."

The conference wraps up on Wednesday.

This year’s speakers at the Summit included Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general. KidStrong speakers included State Board of Education President Gayle Manchin.



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