Shirley M. Gildford, BSN, RN of Bellevue received her Baccalau­reate Degree in Nursing Science from the Univer­sity of Washington and has been a contributing member of WSNA for over 38 years. In 1973, Shirley was Chair of WSNA’s first Minority Affairs Committee. Over the years, Shirley also served in several commit­tees for ANA and for KCNA. During the time she served on the KCNA Board of Direc­tors, she helped develop the Adopt a School Project, which was a pilot project at her middle school to encourage students to consider nursing as a profes­sion. She is a retired Seattle school nurse, where for thirty-two years, she provided health services for students at all grade levels. Shirley has maintained member­ship in the Mary Mahoney Profes­sional Nurses Organi­za­tion since 1958 and served a term as their President.

Shirley’s enthu­siasm, dedica­tion, and concern for health care and health educa­tion has been trans­lated into practical benefits to the students she served. She ensured health educa­tion occurred daily during each contact with a student, involving discus­sions on self care, practices to prevent illness, and accessing the health care system. Because she firmly believes the health and well being of children contribute to their learning ability, much of her time was spent preventing, identi­fying, or remedi­ating the health and learning problems of her students.

Shirley used her knowl­edge of commu­nity resources creatively and effec­tively. In addition to refer­rals of students to commu­nity clinics and agencies like Child Protec­tive Services, she provided infor­ma­tion from commu­nity resources to parents and school staff. To heighten the aware­ness of staff about health concerns, she provided speakers from the commu­nity at faculty meetings. Shirley always maintained open commu­ni­ca­tion with parents and assisted in getting their children plugged into health care facil­i­ties in the commu­nity. She taught Red Cross First Aid classes for staff and parents after school and during weekends.

Shirley served on the oversight committee for the AIDS Aware­ness play, Live Wire”, which was produced for middle school students and offered throughout the city and state. She held health fairs for students in her middle school and did screening at commu­nity health fairs.

Shirley was an active member of the Seattle School Nurses Associ­a­tion and served as Presi­dent. As Chair of SNOW’s Practice Committee for six years, she helped develop Standards of Practice for School Nurses and a Position Paper on the Role of Profes­sional School Nurses in the Seattle School District. This committee devel­oped a slide presen­ta­tion showing the role of school nurses and the impor­tance of a quality health services program. It was shown to commu­nity groups, the school board, and the PTSA.

Shirley served on the Board and as secre­tary of the Washington Health Educa­tion Alliance. This organi­za­tion supported compre­hen­sive health educa­tion curricula and worked legisla­tively to get bills passed that would influ­ence local school districts. The changes in the laws regarding scoliosis screening and immuniza­tions for school age children came about with written and verbal testi­mony from those individ­uals like Shirley.

The impact of Shirley’s contri­bu­tion on the lives of the children will have a lasting effect. Even now, former students share the impact her influ­ence has had on their lives. The documents and curricula she helped develop continue to be used.