On June 1, Jamie Walker joined the staff of IU Health Bloomington as Orange county’s first Manager of Coordinated School Health through the Community Health department.
The Manager of Coordinated School Health is a funded position created through IU Health at no cost to the county schools. The position is a full-time role through IU Health in working with the Orange County schools to promote and implement school health initiatives.
Walker will serve all of Orange County schools in Orleans, Springs Valley and Paoli School Corporations.
Walker’s main job is to promote healthy initiatives that Orange County schools already have in place, and aid schools in getting the resources needed for new health-related programs.
“After meeting with the three superintendents, it is evident the schools are doing some important things. Now we need to promote those things and help get parents and community members involved,” Walker said.
Walker is currently working to identify all the initiatives already happening in Orange County so she can highlight them and share them with other schools as well as engage people in the community to get involved and create community and school partnerships.
The initiatives Walker is looking for are not just focused on physical health but on overall wellness, too.
“The last few years have been tough on everyone; we need to make sure all students and staff are getting the care they need,” Walker said.
The health-related initiatives she will highlight include overall student and staff wellness, development of functional wellness plans, promotion of schools' telehealth services, increased food, and nutrition education, and continued professional development opportunities for educators and staff.
As she moves forward in the position, Walker’s goals include educating the community about what schools are doing to promote health and getting families involved in the activities. In addition, she hopes to make more programming and initiatives available to Orange County schools by tracking down grant funding and connecting schools to community organizations that can offer resources.
She hopes the schools and the larger community will come to see the benefits of her role because the behaviors and attitudes of children regarding health will begin to change.
“I am in the process of making some great connections with community members and organizations and I am looking forward to working with the community as well as the schools to increase wellness,” Walker said.
Walker came to the position after having graduated from Indiana University earning a Bachelor of Science in science education and a Master of Science in geological science. The last 16 she has worked as a high school science teacher at Brownstown Central High School and Salem High School.