Health heroes made school clinics happen

The Herald reported some terrific news for Durango School District students on Dec. 20, when it announced the award of a $485,000 health-care grant for our two school-based health clinics. This award is a significant achievement and will promote better health care for the students and families who need it most – certainly, this is something we can all celebrate.

And like all accomplishments, the backstory can often remain unnoticed. Critical decisions were made long ago that set in motion the events we now celebrate; there were key players in this story who set the stage, more than a decade ago when the original health grants were sought and awarded, and then persevered with the vision of improving student health care. These “health heros” remind us of an important lesson that is so relevant in today’s turbulent environment: “Weary not in well-doing, for, in due season, you will reap, if you do not faint,” is the Bible adage that says it well.

With great appreciation, then, acknowledge these heroes, all of them our neighbors, some of whom remain active in their service: Mary Barter, Jaynee Fontecchio-Spradling, Susan Terrill-Flint, Barb Colbert, Cindy Hilmer, Paula Ditzler, Sherrod Beall, Diane Lashinsky, Cindy Smart, as well as the dedicated student health providers who have cared for, and continue to care for our children.

Michael Brennan