Catherine Grano was nominated by her colleague, Eileen Gavin.
"It is with great pride and enthusiasm that I nominate my colleague Cathy Grano, MSN, RN, CSN-NJ, for the LifeChanger of the Year award. I have had the pleasure of partnering with Cathy, both as co-lead nurse in the Middletown School District and on many school health initiatives over the past thirteen years. Her commitment to our school community and her passion for her school practice continue to inspire me. Cathy is a 2013 alum of the Johnson and Johnson School Health Leadership Program. She exemplifies the best of school nursing through the community initiatives that she leads, even eight years later," said Gavin.
Ms. Grano represents 21st Century school nursing practice in action. She wholeheartedly embraces her role as a student-centered provider while keeping the students’ families and school community in the forefront of her school practice. Her successful leadership can best be demonstrated by the programs that she has implemented. Among them is the Wellness Warriors, a comprehensive school wellness program that includes walking clubs and healthy eating initiatives. Another commendable school health partnership developed by Ms. Grano was with the Backpack Crew. They worked collaboratively to address food insecurities in the school community. She has repeatedly served as an example of the caring, innovative school nurse spirit. This caring spirit is best demonstrated by how Ms. Grano recently created a self-serve food pantry out of an unused book exchange during the pandemic with the theme of “donate what you can and take what you need."
Ms. Grano’s dedication to the school nurse practice extends beyond her resume. Whether it's at a community level through daily interactions with staff and students, or on a grander scale, Ms. Grano stands out as an expert leader while continuing to advocate to keep children healthy, safe, and ready to learn. Her accomplishments and qualifications speak for themselves.