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Dana Olsen school nurse of the year:

Dana Olsen is the Utah school nurse of the year. Laurel Johansen, chairman of the school board honors her at the school board meeting Wednesday at EHS.

The Utah School Nurse conference was held on March 24 and 25 at the Eccles Convention center in Ogden. At this conference Dana Olsen of Orangeville was named Utah School Nurse of the Year.

Dana graduated from Emery High School in 1969 and began her career in nursing soon after her graduation from Weber State College in 1971. The first 15 years of her career was spent as an OB-GYN nurse in Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, Duchesne County Hospital and Carbon Hospital and Castle View Hospital in Price. In 1986 she became employed by the Southeastern Utah District Health Department and has worked as a public health nurse for the past 25 years.

Dana is very compassionate, competent and knowledgeable in all areas of her nursing profession. In her community, everyone knows Dana from the School Board Administration to the Pre-Kindergarteners. She is very visible in the school district which has 2,436 students. She visits each of her 10 schools at least weekly, if not more. She covers a very large area in the school district from Ferron to Green River. It takes her an hour and 15 minutes one way just to get to one of her schools.

She has managed most health department programs for the Southeastern office in Emery County with effortlessness. Not only school nursing but the WIC program, Baby Your Baby, immunizations, family planning, HIV/STD/Communicable diseases, flu clinics and children with special health care needs, just to name a few.

Dana manages two high schools, two junior high schools and six elementary schools. She also manages the Gold Medal School program in the county and has recruited all of her elementary schools to participate in the program. Her schools have successfully achieved up to the Platinum Focus level with her leadership.

Dana's management skills have always demonstrated that her school nurse duties are done in a timely and successful manner. From managing vision and scoliosis screenings, care plans, maturation programs, kindergarten round-ups, head lice checks, dealing with sick children or anxious parents, Dana is their leader who supports optimal school health.

Dana is an active member of the Utah State Nursing Association and the National Association of School Nursing. She has been active for most of her 25 years in both organizations. Dana has been a first aid and CPR trainer for many years. She began as an instructor with the American Red Cross and currently is a Heartsaver, First Aid/CPR/AED instructor with the American Heart Association for the local health department and the school district.

In 2010 Dana worked with the school district during a critical outbreak of influenza, bronchitis, and cold that forced the closure of one school and was dramatically affecting the attendance at several schools. Her expertise was exceptionally valuable in the critical decisions that had to be made. She is always willing and ready to respond to any health crisis as well as to advise and support individual students, parents, and teachers.

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