Woman honored by Independence Blue Cross for reshaping the role of a school nurse

Friday, June 14, 2019
Woman honored by IBC for reshaping the role of a school nurse
Woman honored by IBC for reshaping the role of a school nurse: Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on June 14, 2019.

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) -- Some very special nurses in our area are being honored by Independence Blue Cross, as part of the Celebrate Caring campaign.

The campaign recognizes nurses that go above and beyond in their caring and received 700 nominations. Three winners were chosen, including Penn Medicine Inpatient Hospice nurse, Anne DeLuca.

But nurses play many different roles, and another winner is reshaping the role of a school nurse.

When they don't feel well, the 600 students at Pocopson Elementary in West Chester know they can turn to "Nurse Kathy."

But Kathy Einthoven doesn't just tend to stomach aches and playground injuries.

"Every day is a little different, there are different ways to utilize my nursing skills," she said. "Some days it feels like a little emergency room here."

And every day, she's also helping students manage chronic illnesses, or trying to find out what is ailing a child.

"Maybe it is something physical that's happening, but maybe it's something social or emotional," said Kathy.

She also works closely with the cafeteria staff, committed to preventing food allergies. But she's ready just in case for those or other serious allergic reactions with a cabinet of EpiPens.

Principal Clif Beaver says Kathy oversees everyone's safety and well-being.

"She's really the center of most things that happen here, even more than you might imagine," he said.

From sun safety, to educating parents on health matters, Nurse Kathy is the go-to information source.

This year, she also focused on staff wellness, with programs such as healthier eating on a budget.

The whole school community got behind Nurse Kathy in nominating her for a Celebrate Caring award and they kept her win a secret until a surprise school assembly.

"It warmed my heart to look over at my husband and see tears in his eyes. And my mom beaming with pride," said Kathy.

They even gave her a tiara and a sash.

Kathy says she's carrying on the family business - her father was a school principal, her mother was a nurse and she says her husband's ancestor invented the electrocardiogram, also known as an EKG.