Health Services

Mrs. Denise Bolan, RPA-C

Denise Bolan, RPA-C is our school physician assistant. She is a summa cum laude graduate of the SUNY at Stony Brook's Physician Assistant Program where she received the Undergraduate Honor Award. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Bacteriology from Wagner College. She has been a physician assistant for 21 years and has worked in primary care, alcohol rehabilitation medicine, and clinical education. She was a Clinical Instructor at the SUNY Stony Brook PA Program for 4 years and was also HIV Program Coordinator for the Essex County Public Health Department for 2 years. Mrs. Bolan has been a member of the New York State Board for Professional Medical Conduct (responsible for the discipline of physicians and physician assistants) since 1989, and was its Vice-chair for 4 years. Her time at NCS began in 1992 as a part-time employee, but since 2003 she has been providing full-time services.

Mrs. Bolan provides all the mandated health screenings for our students, such as hearing, vision and scoliosis. As a physician assistant, she is also able to perform all the physical examinations for our students and selected staff including:

  • Preparticipation exams for athletics
  • Committee on Special Education exams
  • Exams mandated for 2nd, 4th, 7th & 10th graders
  • Kindergarten exams
  • Entrance exams
  • Exams for working papers
  • School bus driver and cafeteria worker exams

Health services at NCS include:

  • Evaluation and treatment of ill or injured students and staff as is possible at school
  • Administration of medication as indicated
  • Health counseling and education
  • Illness surveillance
  • Development and implementation of health care plans for students with chronic conditions
  • Advisement/counseling for students regarding issues of sexuality, growth & development
  • Communication with parents around health issues for their child
  • Development/revision of health policies as indicated

Mrs. Bolan is also the school's attendance officer, issues working papers, and handles worker compensation.

Please review the following document on:

Nutrition During COVID Pandemic...

SANP-ED nutrition info during COVID pandemic.pdf

Important Reminder: Social Distancing

With the extended school closure due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is understandable that students and families are beginning to get frustrated and “antsy” to say the least. 

But PLEASE understand that in order to combat this situation and allow us to hopefully shorten the period of time where schools, businesses, etc need to be closed, it is IMPERATIVE that we continue to socially distance ourselves. 

 Stay Home!

If you must leave for essential reasons such as grocery shopping, plan ahead so you can limit the number of times this is needed.  Try to plan for 2 weeks’ worth of groceries at a time.  And limit how many household members do this. 

 Be mindful of staying at least 6 feet apart from others whenever you are out of the house (eg. grocery shopping or getting takeout)

 If you leave home, remember to wash your hands, avoid touching surfaces, and avoid touching your face. 

 If you go outside to get exercise (which is indeed recommended for various reasons) still maintain your distance from others.  Stay at least 6 feet from other people you encounter. 

 Stay in touch and check in with loved ones virtually (eg. FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts, Google Meet) or by phone, rather than in person.

 If you are kind enough to run an errand for a relative, friend or neighbor, drop off the items at their front door.  Do not enter other households, especially if someone is ill, elderly, or has chronic medical conditions or is immunocompromised. 

 Thank you and stay well!!

News from the Health Office

 We are in the midst of a pandemic, certainly a time of unprecedented stress on parents struggling to balance work at home, social distancing, financial worries, remote learning for their children, and fear and anxiety for themselves and their children.  

 The following are helpful tips/strategies offered by author Lisa Damour in her March 19, 2020 New York Times article entitled “Quaranteenagers: Strategies for Parenting in Close Quarters”. 

 Make Space for Disappointment and Sadness.

Teenagers may understandably experience a sense of loss as the usual and highly anticipated rites of passage and social milestones/interactions are cancelled or curtailed.  Proms, graduations, concerts, Youth & Government, and sporting competitions may be or already have been cancelled.  They don’t have the opportunity to gather for socializing, let alone for healthy flirtations.  So they are entitled to be sad, angry and/or frustrated.  And it is ok to validate that for them by acknowledging and voicing empathy around it.

 Make Space for Relief and Joy.

On the other hand, teenagers may also be happy that certain obligations or disliked interactions can be avoided.  They may not have to confront a bully.  They may not have to sit in a class they dislike.  They may not have to get up so early every day.  It is ok to allow them this happiness while still offering empathy for what they do experience as loss.  

 Expect Friction Regarding Their Social Lives.

Your child may be angry with you because you are abiding by social distancing rules, especially if not being abided by others.  Lisa Damour suggests a statement such as:  “I know that other parents are still having kids over, but we can’t support that choice because it doesn’t fit with what experts are recommending.” You can let them know they can blame you when speaking with their friends, and that if safety guidelines do change you are willing to negotiate what they may or may not be allowed to do.

 On the other hand, relaxing some other family/household rules, given that they cannot enjoy their normal privileges, seems prudent.  Extra time online to socialize might be appropriate, but it should not be a free-for-all either.  Digital safety measures, ensuring adequate sleep and routine, time for exercise and time for family interactions are still necessary.

 Allow Privacy and Time Alone.

Do let your teens know you value time with them but don’t take offense if they want to be by themselves or just want to be quiet. It’s ok to allow your teenager to spend time quietly reading, drawing, etc or to be alone in his/her room, within reason.   If there are things you need your teens to help with which would impact this time, try engaging them to develop a mutually agreeable solution.  If you need them to help with meal prep because you are working from home, ask them how to solve the problem. 

 Treat Teenagers as Problem-Solving Partners.

Teenagers are often just as capable as adults in developing workable and reasonable options to a problem.  Rather than handing them your solution, try presenting the issue and asking how they think it would be best handled. This affords them the opportunity to voice their concerns and/or needs before a decision is made, thereby avoiding their non-compliance or irritability.  And it allows both parties to understand each others’ needs and concerns.

 In the words of Lisa Damour:  “There’s a lot we still don’t know about how the spring will unfold for our teenagers, but there are some truths about adolescents that can help us through this difficult time: they welcome empathy, they are resilient and adaptable, and they appreciate — and tend live up to — high expectations.”

 I hope you find Ms. Damour’s words as constructive as I did.   Remember to continue social distancing, wash your hands, disinfect highly touched surfaces, use cough/sneeze etiquette, stay home, and call your health provider if you become ill. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  Stay well and safe.

Mrs. Bolan



Helpful Hints: Safe Hand Sanitizer Use

By now we are all well aware that washing our hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds (especially after using the restroom, before eating and after sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing) is an important way to stop the transmission of the coronavirus.

But if soap and water are unavailable, the use of hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is recommended by the CDC.  Hand sanitizer should not however replace the use of soap & water if hands are visibly dirty or greasy.

To be most effective, use a dime-sized amount of hand sanitizer and rub it all over your hands, including the backs of your hands and between the fingers.  Rub it in until it has completely dried.

It is important to know that hand sanitizers are regulated as over-the-counter drugs by the US Food and Drug Administration, so please read and follow the information on the label, particularly in the warnings section. 

Store hand sanitizers out of the reach of children and pets.  Hand sanitizer should not be ingested; as even small amounts can cause alcohol poisoning.  Particularly young children may be tempted to drink it due to the pleasant smell or brightly colored containers, so its use should be under adult supervision.  However, if your child eats with or licks their hands after hand sanitizer has been used and rubbed in well, there is no need for concern.

I realize hand sanitizer has been difficult to find in stores due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.  But PLEASE do NOT make your own hand sanitizer.  If it is made incorrectly, it may not only be ineffective, but it can cause injury.  There have already been reports of skin burns from homemade hand sanitizer.  Also, adding alcohol to non-alcohol hand sanitizer will probably be ineffective; using disinfectant sprays and wipes (intended to clean surfaces) may also cause skin and eye irritations.

Stay well.                            Mrs. Bolan



Important News: New York State Health Department

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the New York State Department of Health has made a special enrollment period available to New Yorkers during which eligible individuals will be able to enroll in insurance coverage through NY State of Health, New York's official health plan marketplace, and directly through insurers.  The special enrollment period is open from MARCH 16 TO MAY 15, 2020.  Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus- can enroll year round!

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