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School of Nursing partners with Haywood County for improved pediatric care

Kae Livsey, an associate professor in the School of Nursing at Western Carolina University, is the recipient of a $10,000 prize award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help improve pediatric care in Haywood County. 

The P4 Challenge Phase I award was selected among 240 submissions from across the country to increase childhood well-visits and improve immunization rates. The P4 Challenge is offered by the Health Resources Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, which supports research and programs, and invests in workforce training to ensure the health and well-being of mothers, children and families.  

As part of the “Keep Haywood Healthy” project, the School of Nursing is partnering with Haywood County Schools to offer a competition among county public middle schools and high schools to promote well-child visits. The winning middle school and high school to have the greatest percentage of students providing documentation to school nurses of a completed a well-child visit in the past year will each receive a $2,000 cash prize. If the “Keep Haywood Healthy” project is successful, the university, the winning schools and the community stand to receive additional prize funds.

“Many students and families think that sports physicals and well-child visits are the same, but they are different,” said Livsey. Well-child visits are important annual visits to help keep children healthy and protected. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that fewer children got these visits this year as compared to last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The School of Nursing also is partnering with Haywood County Health and Human Services, and Haywood Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, along with other local pediatric primary care providers. 

“We are thrilled to work with these partners in Haywood County to support adolescent wellness,” said Livsey, who will lead the local campaign. “This project will not only support increased access to well-child visits, but also will provide valuable service-learning experiences for our nursing students.” 

Other aspects of the project include parent and student educational programs and resources, along with financial and other assistance for students who may have challenges limiting their ability to access to these visits, including pop-up clinics supported by area providers and the School of Nursing. 

More information on the school challenge will be sent to families of enrolled students in Haywood County middle schools and high schools, as well as the launching of a social media campaign and scheduling of pop-up clinics. For more information, contact Livsey at or 828-654-6523.

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