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Posted October 16, 2014

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APS Resource Nurse Earns Top Honor

Christine Long receives the NM Nursing Excellence Award.

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Christine Long, who has been with APS the past five years, received the New Mexico Nursing Excellence Award in the category of public health/community/school from the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium during their annual banquet on Oct.11 at the Hyatt Tamaya Resort.

“This APS nominee focused her energies first as a school nurse and now as a resource nurse to improve the health and well being of staff, students and the community in which they live,” said APS nurse Cynthia McConnell who nominated Long for the award.

McConnell, the nurse at Rio Grande High, said she nominated Long for her compassion to her students and her efforts advocating health, wellness, safety and disease prevention.

“It’s a great honor,” Long said. “But I think many APS nurses could have received this award.”

In the past years as a resource nurse, Long provided annual flu vaccines for staff and coordinated the state sponsored School Kids Influenza Immunization Project (SKIP) for students to receive the flu vaccine at no cost. She also represents APS on the state and CDC sponsored Immunization Practices Advisory Council and the annual statewide School Kids Influenza Immunization Project.

“It is a lot of work,” Long said of the SKIP clinics, “but this way the kids are in school to learn.”

During her time as school nurse at A. Montoya Elementary and Roosevelt Middle School, she purchased a blender with grant funds for students to have smoothies in lieu of soft drinks and initiated a “Walking Wednesday” club at lunch for staff and students to get active.

“I love encouraging other employees to be healthy and stay fit,” Long said. ”Healthy students make better learners.”

McConnell also highlighted Long’s efforts in suicide prevention, educating families about depression and helping a student who was being bullied and self-harming receive psychiatric services.

Long, who had 21 years of experience before joining APS, was a nominee last year in the health/community/school category as well as in the Touch of Life category, nominated by parents of one of her students.

The New Mexico Nursing Excellence Awards recognize nurses for excellence in practice and whose leadership and contributions have made a significant impact in his or her community and to the profession of nursing. Over the past three years, Albuquerque Public Schools have been represented among the top honorees. Margaret Grady received the award for health/community/school in 2012, and Laura Case received the award for nurse management/emerging leadership in 2013.


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