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Letter to Congress Highlighting the Importance of School-based Health Clinics Particularly in this Flu Season

October 01, 2009

Dear Representative:


The National Education Association (NEA) would like to call to your attention the importance of school-based health clinics in improving the health and safety of students and school personnel.  Such clinics will be particularly vital as schools and communities face the upcoming flu season and the arrival of the H1N1 virus.  NEA looks forward to working with policymakers to ensure the effective and efficient use of school-based clinics.

Through our Health Information Network (http://www.neahin.org), NEA works to provide the school community with vital and timely information that will support teaching and other educational services and increase student achievement.  Establishing school based influenza clinics meets our goal of impacting the health and wellbeing of educators, students, and parents and creating positive change in public health communities.
Health and education go hand in hand. Research suggests that student’s learning are inextricably linked. An important key to children's academic success is having them attend school on a regular basis. 

In the coming months, school-based influenza vaccination programs will increase seasonal vaccination rates among school aged children, the population most responsible for the transmission of the influenza virus.  In addition, such programs will prevent influenza from disrupting the learning process.  Furthermore, because schools are centers of the community it educators can play a vital role in collaborating with public health experts to make pandemic influenza planning a priority. 

Again, NEA school-based seasonal and pandemic vaccination clinics and looks forward to working with policymakers to implement these important clinics.  For more information, please contact Jerry Newberry, Director of NEA’s Health Information Network, at (202) 822-7570.

Thank you for your consideration of our views on this matter.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust
Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody
Manager of Federal Advocacy