Every year in June, we say farewell to staff who are retiring and bid best wishes to those moving on to different professional endeavors. It is a time to celebrate their individual achievements and contributions to our King County school-based health community. To all those leaving us at the end of the 2019-20 school year, we share our gratitude for your partnership and comradery.
A special farewell goes to Helene Mansfield who has been with the Seattle World School (SWS) during its entire partnership with International Community Health Services’ school-based health center (SBHC). Helene played a crucial role in the establishment of the SBHC and has been an invaluable partner in its success. Seattle Public Schools (SPS) Health Services Staff had the following words to share about Helene’s impact on the Seattle World School community:
“Helene Mansfield, MN RN NCSN retires June 30 after 13 years in Seattle Public Schools, all at Seattle World School. Helene listened to and cared for the most vulnerable students in the district–students who were often unaccompanied, survivors of war, violence, migration, dislocation and losses. She was there when the school was moved from one dilapidated building to another and finally into a remodeled central-area site with a modern school-based health center run by International Community Health Services. She started when the “Bilingual Orientation Center” served only to get students ready to be passed off to large high schools where students were often invisible. Over the years she worked so that SWS became a comprehensive high where students could gain confidence, take pride in their identities and graduate. Helene is well-known for her collaboration with her bilingual assistants, social workers and ICHS staff (especially her friend and colleague Didi Burpee ARNP) to make miracles happen. Helene got hundreds of students completely vaccinated over each school year. In her last few weeks of service she was doing home visits to get students vaccinated even during the closure. Finally, Helene demonstrated an unwavering graciousness and kindness to her fellow nurses. She consistently made other nurses feel welcome and heard. Best Wishes!”