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Highmark Foundation is now accepting nominations for its first-ever Excellence in School Nursing Award

March 11, 2015 | Pittsburgh, Pa.

PITTSBURGH (March 11, 2015) —The Highmark Foundation is now accepting nominations for its first-ever Excellence in School Nursing Award, which will be presented at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown on National School Nurse Day, May 6. The Foundation created the award to recognize the vital role that school nurses play in keeping children healthy. A total of three nurses will be honored, one from each of the regions that the Foundation serves — western Pennsylvania, central Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

"The Highmark Foundation has been a long-time investor in schools and promoting children's health, and we understand the importance of the contributions school nurses make to keep kids healthy," said Yvonne Cook, president, Highmark Foundation. "We created the Excellence in School Nursing Award because it's important that their efforts are recognized."

Administrators, colleagues, teachers, parents and even students can go online, create an account and nominate a nurse whom they feel has made a significant impact on the students that he or she serves. All nominations must be submitted by Friday, April 3, 2015 at 5 p.m. The nominations will be reviewed by a panel of judges that includes: Judy Dillon, community outreach coordinator, Department of Nursing, Penn State Hershey Medical Center; Marge DiCuccio, chief nursing officer, Allegheny General Hospital; Katrina Layman, manager, care management, Highmark West Virginia; Christina L. Wilds, senior program officer, Highmark Foundation; and Atiya Abdelmalik, director, community programs, Highmark Health.

Winners will receive $1,500 to be used for professional development or programs at their respective schools, as well a custom-made award by Roland Metal Art in Johnstown, Pa. Attendees at the awards ceremony on May 6 will have the opportunity to hear keynote speaker Aleshia Smith, MSN, RN, CSN, the school nurse coordinator at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for the Independence Blue Cross Foundation Healthy Futures Program.

About the Highmark Foundation

The Highmark Foundation is a private, charitable organization of Highmark Inc. that supports initiatives and programs aimed at improving community health. The Foundation's mission is to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for individuals who reside in the communities served by Highmark Inc. The Foundation strives to support evidence-based programs that impact multiple counties and work collaboratively to leverage additional funding to achieve replicable models. For more information, visit


Steve Bortner
Highmark Health

Kelly DeAngelis
Highmark Health