LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Barb Ford

Position: School Nurse
School: Holy Infant Catholic School
School District: Holy Infant Catholic School
City, State: Ballwin, MO

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Barb Ford was nominated by her colleague, Adam Meesey.

"During the past two and a half years, the role of a school nurse has changed significantly," explains Meesey.  "Before this pandemic, our school's nurse was there to mend wounds, provide comfort to those who missed their parents, call parents to pick up sick children, and keep track of immunizations and medical records for the students. On March 13th, 2020, that all changed. Now, we looked towards the school nurse for guidance." 

Ms. Ford has been the school nurse at Holy Infant School for over 20 years. As a dedicated wife, mother, and grandmother, her faithful service to her job is unmeasurable. She demonstrates compassion, understanding, and security to those who look to her for advice. She is fully vested in her job and will do anything to help those in need.

After the school knew it was closing for the duration of the school year, Ms. Ford signed up for a webinar through Duke to educate herself on contact tracing, guidelines for quarantining, and other COVID-19 protocols for elementary schools. She was constantly on the phone with the district's school nursing coordinator for additional information. She even reached out to her local public and private high schools to see what their protocols were for older children. Ms. Ford never stopped trying to find the best answers to help the administration and teachers stay safe.

"We were so blessed to have had 178 days of in-person learning during the 2020-2021 school year. It was all thanks to Barb's dedication. She was instrumental in getting the necessary supplies we needed. While working with our administration, she made sure that all of the classrooms were equipped and set up for the social distancing requirements," said Meesey.

Ms. Ford's knowledge and understanding of pediatric nursing is amazing.  She uses numerous outlets to gather the information necessary to answer parents' questions. She reads articles, asks for advice from parent physicians and nurses, and is a key member of the school's COVID-19 Task Force.  The parish looks to Ms. Ford for an explanation when it needs to contact trace, quarantine, or address any additional issues. 

She understands the importance of FERPA guidelines and upholds a strong ethic of confidentiality.  She is prided by her trust in the medical knowledge of both the students and faculty in her school.

"When our teachers are having medical issues, either personally or with their families, they turn to Barb for assurance that they are doing the right thing.  Barb is a 'mother' to us all when we need medical advice," said Meesey.

"Our school owes a debt of gratitude to Barb for her positive outlook during an uncontrollable situation. We have come so far in this due to her steadfast dedication, confidence, and care for our school," said Meesey.