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ECU partners with Bertie

WINDSOR – East Carolina University to the rescue.

The Bertie Board of Education has negotiated an 18-month, $150,000 contract with ECU to help attract and retain better school nurses in Bertie County Schools (BCS).

&uot;This is in the best interest of Bertie County and our kids,&uot; stated Assistant Superintendent Thomas Ruffin.

Dr. Alta Andrews, a professor at ECU’s College of Nursing, spoke before the school board prior to the contract’s acceptance.

&uot;We feel like we can offer some assistance in helping you find and retain more school nurses,&uot; she said.

Andrews went on, &uot;We’re here to help Bertie County.&uot;

Superintendent of BCS, Dr. Chip Zullinger, stated, &uot;I’m really excited about the potential here too. The school healthcare needs in this county are about as critical as you’ll find. Doing this is a smart move.&uot;

According to BCS Finance Officer Pearline Bunch, funds in the budget have already been set aside for this project so money will not be a problem.

Board member Alton Parker made a motion to go forward with the contract and the measure passed without objection.

&uot;It looks like to me it’s a good deal,&uot; Parker stated.

The contract sets up an agreement between the two parties where ECU will assist the board in improving the school health program by assisting in recruiting qualified nurses and developing a school health program model.

It becomes effective immediately and extends through June 30, 2009.

Andrews stated at the meeting that by that time she hopes BCS will be self-sufficient in being able to provide quality health care for its students.