School Nurses Appreciation Dinner 2023
For Anna Khoury, a school nurse at IS 30 in Brooklyn, the best part of the UFT’s annual School Nurses Appreciation Dinner is mingling with colleagues. Having only one nurse in the building, she said, means any celebration can be a bit lonely. “It’s like, ‘Let her celebrate by herself,’ ” she said, laughing. The appreciation dinner on May 10 at UFT headquarters came at a welcome moment for the dozens of attendees. School nurses are treating a diverse set of needs as asthma and allergy rates rise and mental health issues are unabated. The influx of newcomers has only increased the pressure, UFT President Michael Mulgrew said, stressing that many of these children have never received health care. School nurses, he said, “are figuring it out on the fly because there’s nobody on the city level helping.” School Nurses Chapter Leader Cynthia Bennett spoke about pandemic challenges and how school nurses are still stepping up despite being underappreciated and underpaid. “Long after the clapping and the pot-banging, we’re still here,” Bennett said.