getHip 2010 kicked off at the annual Texas Library Association Conference at the San Antonio Convention Center on April 14. The half day preconference was a follow up to getHIP 2008, which saw librarians, school nurses, teachers, school administrators, health educators, and health sciences librarians come together to discuss a coordinated approach to school health. This year’s conference aimed to build on the success of getHIP 2008, and by connecting it to the TLA conference, hoped to bring a diverse set of ideas and collaboration from across Texas Libraries.
Dr. Pat Cooper, the Chief Executive Officer of the Early Childhood and Family Learning Foundation in New Orleans, LA, delivered an inspiring keynote address detailing his struggles and accomplishments with improving the school system in McComb, Mississippi. His address detailed the Coordinated School Health Program, a program that Dr. Cooper instituted at the McComb School District and described as “creating a nurturing family within the school system.” The program has had significant success in raising graduation rates, improving the health and well being of students, and providing a nurturing environment conducive to learning.
After Dr. Cooper’s address, a panel of health professionals and librarians from across Texas delivered presentations illustrating their own research and experiences delivering quality and relevant health information to children and families of Texas and promoting health careers among young people. Participants to the conference then had a chance to work in small group workshops and brain storm plans of action for implementing the ideas of the speakers into their own communities.
By bringing together informative presenters and motivated health care professional and librarians, getHIP 2010 has taken a positive step towards providing Texas schools and families with access to the health information and resources they need to make their lives better.