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Teaching the Pacific
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Lily Bagtas, Yokota West Elementary School Nurse, helps out with a 2012 Continuous School Improvement Election campaign event. The fundraiser involved CSI Juniors--composed of student council members--volunteering to raise funds for local charitable organizations. (Courtesy photo)
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Yokota nurse selected as OSHNA School Nurse of the Year

Posted 2/25/2013   Updated 2/25/2013 Email story   Print story


by Charly Hoff
Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific Public Affairs Office

2/25/2013 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Yokota West Elementary School Nurse Lily Bagtas, was recently selected as the 2012-2013 Overseas School Health Nurses Association School Nurse of the Year.

According to OSHNA School Nurse of the Year [Selection Committee] Chair Robin Harvel, "Ms. Bagtas demonstrated outstanding efforts in promoting the health of school children in your community as well as contributing to the excellence of school nursing practice. She utilizes commendable nursing skills and freely shares her compassion for others."

After first volunteering as a school nurse at Misawa Air Base 12 years ago when her husband was serving with the Air Force, Bagtas found unique inspiration in serving students and has remained with DoD schools ever since.

"Being selected School Nurse of the Year is truly a great honor," said Bagtas. "As a school nurse, I'm in a unique group, working independently in an overseas setting. Caring for the military and civilian school children on base is very rewarding and fulfilling and it's the least I can do for the men and women who serve our country."

"School nurses are so important to student success," said DoDEA Pacific Senior Civilian Leader Martha Brown. "From preventative care to nutritional counseling to student health management to the many other challenging tasks school nurses engage in each day, school nurses contribute directly to improved academic and health outcomes for our students."

Yokota West Elementary School Principal Sharon Carter said Bagtas goes above and beyond to support the learning environment at Yokota West, "I have never worked with a School Nurse who is as involved in the total school program and community as Mrs. Bagtas."

Carter said Bagtas' impressive health advocacy for students and staff both during and after school make her an especially important member of the teaching team. Bagtas contributes through nutrition classes, fitness programs and physical activities such as Operation 2-1-5, Fit for Spring Biggest Loser contest, Yoga, Zumba, Turbo Jam, Taibo, and Smart Nutrition.

OSHNA is the only professional organization for registered nurses who are employed as school nurses outside of the continental United States. The global organization represents members from DoDEA Europe, DoDEA Pacific, and many international schools.

The OSHNA School Nurse of the Year is chosen by a special committee. The committee reviews portfolio submissions for demonstrated excellence in the school nursing practice, leadership in school health, and promoting the health of school children in the local community.

Bagtas will be recognized by OSHNA through their newsletter, website and during their annual conference taking place March 22-24 in Moerfelden, Germany. She will be further recognized by the National Association of School Nurses in the "NASN Journal" and during their annual conference in Orlando, Fla. June 27-30.

For more information on OSHNA and the School Nurse of the Year Award visit: http://www.oshna.org.

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