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Highmark Foundation, Penn State Hershey PRO Wellness Center collaborate to offer professional development opportunities for school nurses

Oct. 20, 2015 | Pittsburgh, Pa.

PITTSBURGH (Oct. 20, 2015) — A new collaboration between the Highmark Foundation and Penn State Hershey PRO Wellness Center will offer five pre-recorded, professional development trainings for school nurses throughout Pennsylvania. The School Nurse Professional Development Web Series will utilize physician experts from Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Allegheny Health Network to address select priority topics identified by school nurses while providing them with required continuing education credits.

"We are actively seeking to improve school health," said Donna Kephart, executive director of the PRO Wellness Center. "In doing so, we asked school nurses what educational topics would be of most value to them — this way we can assist in keeping their students healthy and ready to learn."

All of the series' webinars will be uploaded to the Pennsylvania Department of Health Learning Management System where school nurses can easily access the materials and obtain an ACT 48 or 58 certificate upon completion. Access this portal at: The first webinar was uploaded in mid-Oct. 2015.

The topics of the webinars and their anticipated launch dates include:

  • Dermatology (October 2015)
  • Mental health (November 2015)
  • Diabetes (March 2016)
  • Asthma and allergies (May 2016)
  • Food allergies (October 2016)

"School nurses do more than just tend to scraped knees and upset stomachs. They play an integral role in keeping our kids healthy," said Highmark Foundation President Yvonne Cook. "We are proud to partner with Penn State Hershey PRO Wellness to offer the School Nurse Professional Development Web Series and help school nurses learn about health care subjects that are important to them. We want to provide the resources they need to best take care of our children."

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

About Penn State Hershey PRO Wellness Center

Penn State Hershey PRO Wellness Center is committed to educating and inspiring youth and their families to eat well, engage in regular physical activity, and become champions for bringing healthy choices to life. Our approach of Prevention, Research and Outreach provides schools, communities and like-minded organizations with educational programs, collaborative partnerships and access to proven wellness interventions. For more information, please visit


David Misner
Highmark Health

Ellie Hogentogler
Penn State Hershey PRO Wellness Center