Choptank Community Health System Family Nurse Practitioner Kim Fitzgerald, CRNP was recognized at the May 9 Maryland Assembly on School-Based Health Care (MASBHC) Conference in Columbia, Md. with this year’s Susan Borinsky Outstanding School-Based Health Center Nurse Clinician Award.
The annual award recognizes an outstanding nurse or nurse practitioner who always goes ‘above and beyond’ to manifest the vision of quality school-based health care for all young people and demonstrates passion and commitment to serving children and youth in a Maryland school-based health center. MASBHC created the award in honor of Susan Borinsky, who was lost to COVID-19 in 2020 after a long-standing, devoted career as a nurse practitioner in Baltimore school-based health centers.
“Kim’s passion and commitment to care embodies the qualities of a Susan Borinsky Outstanding SBHC clinician,” said Choptank Health Director of Community-Based Programs Chrissy Bartz, PA-C, MMSwho nominated Fitzgerald for the award. “The award is a tribute to her heart, hard work, and passion for caring for patients in school-based health.
“Over the course of just two school years—one interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic—Kim has worked tirelessly and effectively in strengthening our community partnerships and growing our program to serve our community,” Bartz says. “Her leadership has helped build a school-based practice that school staff consistently utilize, and students and family value.”
Fitzgerald provides healthcare to Talbot County Public Schools students enrolled in school-based health. She graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore with a Master’s Degree in Nursing, specializing in the field of study to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. She is a native of Burlington Junction, Mo.and now lives in Easton, Md. with her husband and three children.
Talbot County School-Based Health Center locations include Easton Elementary School, Easton Middle School, Easton High School, the St. Michaels schools’ campus, and White Marsh Elementary School.
“Kim exemplifies the work all our School-Based Health Centers achieve in keeping our communities healthy and thriving,” says Choptank Health CEO Sara Rich. “These Health Centers meet children and their families where they are to provide more access to healthcare, which is at the heart of our mission and everything Choptank Health does.”
Rich says School-Based Health Centers often provide a child with their only form of medical or dental care, and that it’s never too late to sign up a student as services continue over the summer months.
School-Based Health Centers provide in-person, virtual, curbside well and urgent care during the school year and over the summer months, with student enrollment needed. Services include diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, behavioral health services, nutrition, and educational services. Choptank Health’s School-Based dental programs include dental screenings and sealants, polishing/cleanings, oral health education, fluoride treatments, and dental emergency referrals.
School-Based Health Center Enrollment forms can be picked up at each school or downloaded in English and Spanish at www.choptankhealth.org/formsinformation.
Choptank Health’s School-Based Health Centers also provide dental services for Dorchester County Public School students and staff and medical and dental services for students and staff in Caroline, Kent, and Queen Anne’s County Public Schools. The centers are made possible through partnerships with each county’s public school system, local health departments, and the Maryland Department of Health. A primary care mobile health unit is also used as part of Choptank Health’s School-Based health center services.
Choptank Community Health System provides medical and dental services to more than 30,000 adults and children in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties, with a mission to provide access to exceptional, comprehensive, and integrated healthcare for all. Medical services include primary healthcare, women’s health, pediatrics, behavioral health, chronic health management, care navigation, and on-site laboratory services, with new school-based and medical patients now being accepted. More is at www.choptankhealth.org.