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Highmark Foundation Announces Advancing Excellence in School Nursing Awards in honor of National School Nurse Day

May 11, 2022 | PITTSBURGH, Pa.

PITTSBURGH (May 11, 2022) — In celebration of National School Nurse Day, the Highmark Foundation today announced the winner of its annual Advancing Excellence in School Nursing Awards: School Nursing Practice & Leadership Award — licensed practical nurse Melissa Rambler from Jackson Elementary School in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

Created to honor and recognize the important role that school nurses play in keeping children healthy, Rambler and winners in other related categories each receive $1,500 awards to use for professional development or health-related programs at their respective schools.

"Nursing professionals in our area schools are essential to the overall success of students, most importantly their health and well-being," said Highmark Foundation President Yvonne Cook. "On behalf of the Highmark Foundation, it is with sincere appreciation that we acknowledge nursing professionals today and every day and congratulate Ms. Rambler in her recognition."

The Highmark Foundation awards nurses throughout the year in one of four categories:

  • School Nursing Practice & Leadership — applicants who demonstrate leadership in school health, exhibit qualities of care and compassion and/or publish research.
  • Spirit of the Year — applicants serve as a role model and display a love for the school nursing profession; compassion and caring for students, staff and families; and a willingness to learn and advance the school nursing profession.
  • Collaboration — applicants successfully form partnerships with other school districts, health care providers and health systems and/or locate resources and assistance for students, staff and families that may otherwise not be available.
  • Transformation — applicants advance school nursing by sharing best practices and innovations while rethinking the delivery of school health care services to students.

The Advancing Excellence in School Nursing Awards winner was selected by a panel of judges from nominations received across the regions that the Highmark Foundation serves throughout West Virginia and Pennsylvania (excluding Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties).

Rambler said she loves her job. "Honestly, working in the school setting initially provided the opportunity to be a very involved single mom to my two active boys with an accommodating schedule. I work with wonderful colleagues, but taking care of my 'little friends' is the most rewarding," said Rambler, who plans to use her award to provide professional development such as CPR/first aid training for her school's medical emergency team at Jackson.

About the Highmark Foundation

The Highmark Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private, charitable organization dedicated to improving the health, well-being, and quality of life for individuals and communities throughout the areas served by Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. We fulfill our mission by awarding high-impact grants to charitable organizations that implement evidence-based programs aimed at improving community health. Central to the Foundation’s mission is identifying and continuously re-evaluation our region’s prevailing health care needs. By doing so, the Foundation remains at the forefront of those needs, well equipped to pinpoint issues that most urgently need support. For more information, visit


Bethany Ross
Highmark Health