School Health: A Novel School Nurse Clinic Surveillance Project in Coastal Georgia
In 2012, the Syndromic Surveillance Program (SSP) of the Georgia Department of Public Health and Effingham County Schools began collecting syndromic surveillance school nurse clinic visit data. The hypothesis was that these data could provide situational awareness during a pandemic, inform health interventions, elucidate disease burden in students, and characterize school nurse activities. Analysis of the data highlighted a significant burden of asthma and diabetes management and a disparate burden of illnesses across schools. In response to the initial findings of this project, chronic disease programs at the state health department are considering funding Effingham schools for targeted health interventions.