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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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School Health

Florida Department of Health in Monroe County

Watch the Monroe County School District "Vaping - Knowledge is Power!" video below

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The above video "Vaping - Knowledge is Power!" was sponsored by the Monroe County School District and will be shared with all Monroe County students grades 6-12 during the 2023-2024 school year.  The video can also be an excellent educational resource for parents and adults who want to learn more about the dangers of vaping to provide inspiration to teenagers in the spirit of vaping prevention or cessation.

The School Health Program maintains a registered nurse in every public school across Monroe County. Nurses work with students, parents, school staff and administrators to keep children and school settings healthy.

Monroe County School Health Team (Fall of 2023)

Pictured left to right: Emily Cyr (Poinciana), Stefani Lawlor (Stanley Switlik), Alaina Applegate (Key Largo School), Kristen Groh (Key Largo School), Sarah Ladd (Marathon Middle High School), Brandie Acevedo (Gerald Adams), Lisa Graft (Sugarloaf), Dana Portillo (school health coordinator), Olga Rodriguez (Horace O’Bryant), Margaret Joyce (Coral Shores), Kerry Biondoletti (Plantation Key School), Kelly Raver (Key West High School), Yvonne Gallardo (Horace O’Bryant), Jeanne Berg (Sigsbee), and Jennifer Searcy (Key West High School).


The Monroe County School Health Team provides value to students and their families in countless ways:  

  • Monroe County is fortunate to have an RN in each public school, and one charter school. Our team is also comprised of 1 LPN and three school health techs.
  • We see children with illness and injuries after obtaining consent. We follow guidance from the state about who to exclude (and for how long). We also identify health concerns and do referrals to local resources as needed.
  • We assist with medications and medical procedures required during the school day.
  • We review documentation and educate school staff about emergency conditions, care, and treatment plans.
  • We review compliance with school health requirements (physicals and vaccinations), contact families, and help to reduce barriers to care.
  • We educate staff on the use, availability, and location of emergency AEDs, Narcan, and epi pens.
  • We provide care for chronic and acute conditions, provide assistance, and link to services in the community.
  • We educate students and staff on a host of topics ranging from illness, tobacco use and cessation, health conditions, training offerings, etc.
  • We perform state required school health screenings for K, 1, 3, and 6th graders. Referrals are made and followed for identified health/growth concerns.
  • We refer students to required and/or recommended health services at no out of pocket cost to families. Examples are AHEC for primary care services and Heiken Vision for professional eye exams and eyeglasses if prescribed.
  • We make families aware of the dental sealant program offered with AHEC for 2nd and 7th graders. This is a no-cost program that provides dental assessments, oral care instructions, fluoride, and sealants for those who need them. These painless sealants stop further problems in decaying teeth. Identified concerns are shared with parents and referred for appropriate follow-up.
  • We make all students aware of dental health services available on the AHEC dental bus that goes from school to school. This is not free, but at such a reasonable cost that all who need care can receive it. This includes cleanings, fillings, and other primary dental services.
  • We refer concerns to the Florida Department of Health-Monroe contacts for our medical director, Dr. Mark Whiteside, our epidemiology department, or other departments as needed.
  • We coordinate vaccine pods for staff (flu) and certain groups of students after parent permission is obtained. Key groups are 6th and 7th graders (for required Tdap and other recommended adolescent offerings) and seniors (for college readiness requirements).