Karen Baker

Stripes Japan

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Karen Baker, a school nurse with the Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific’s Edgren High School, was recently selected as the Overseas School Health Nurses Association 2015 School Nurse of the Year.

During her 3 years with DoDEA Pacific, Baker expanded the vision screening program to include testing for amblyopia, color vision deficiency, and convergence inefficiency. She also provided multiple courses of instruction to school staff members, fellow school nurses, and students, living up to her motto “Managing Student Health to Enhance Student Success.”
“Ms. Baker does an excellent job, and we are proud to have her represent the Japan District as the recipient of the OSNHA School Nurse of the Year Award,” said DoDEA Japan District Superintendent Lois Rapp.

Edgren High School Principal Georgia Watters said Baker has taken the nurse position to new heights, “She is kind and compassionate and pays attention to every single detail using her knowledge, expertise, and initiative to get the job done. Most important, she loves her job with passion and she loves the students. She will stop what she is doing to help anyone in need. She really is a very special lady and a special nurse!”

OSHNA is the only professional organization for registered nurses who are employed as school nurses outside of the continental United States. The global organization represents members from DoDEA Europe, DoDEA Pacific, and many international schools.

The OSHNA School Nurse of the Year is chosen by a special OSHNA committee. The committee reviews portfolio submissions for demonstrated excellence in the school nursing practice, leadership in school health, and promoting the health of school children in the local community.

“I am honored and blessed to be a school nurse and to advocate for the military children that I serve,” said Baker, who has been a nurse for over 34 years. “Whether I’m recognizing and monitoring epidemiological patterns in the school and surrounding community, responding to a physical or emotional crisis, assessing, treating and monitoring students with chronic diseases, giving health briefings, or making health referrals, the ultimate goal is to help students be as healthy as possible so they can achieve academic excellence and become the most independent, successful adults possible.”

Baker will be recognized during OSHNA’s annual conference taking place in Warsaw, Poland April 10-12.

For more information on OSHNA and the School Nurse of the Year Award visit: http://www.oshna1.org/

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