2015 School Health Champions

This award is given annually to honor champions in the fields of health policy, school district administration, and school health providers in California. Each recipient has been chosen by the California School-Based Health Alliance Board of Directors for their outstanding service and dedication to healthy, successful students.

For 2015, we honored three champions for their outstanding contributions advancing school-based health care through practice, school leadership, and policy.

2015 School Health Champion Award Recipients

Outstanding Practitioner

School Community Leader

Legislative Champion

Merry Grasska is the Coordinator of Health Services at Newport-Mesa Unified School District, which serves more than 21,000 students at 32 schools.

Bruce McIver is a health education instructor at the Elizabeth Learning Center in southeastern Los Angeles County.

The Honorable Dr. Shirley Weber is the member of the California State Assembly representing the 79th district.

Outstanding Practitioner

Merry Grasska is the Coordinator of Health Services at Newport-Mesa Unified School District, which serves more than 21,000 students at 32 schools.

School Community Leader

Bruce McIver is a health education instructor at the Elizabeth Learning Center in southeastern Los Angeles County.

Legislative Champion

The Honorable Dr. Shirley Weber is the member of the California State Assembly representing the 79th district.

Merry Grasska is the Coordinator of Health Services at the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, where she has led the effort to increase collaborative partners so students can have the most resources to be healthy and ready to learn. The results? Students now have increased access to nutrition education, fitness, and behavioral health support. School staff are also benefiting from a wellness program to decrease stress and improve how they teach. Finally, her efforts have yielded very visible results in the form of a garden rejuvenation project at an elementary school. Merry is truly a champion for student health and academic success.

Bruce McIver is a HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) instructor at the Elizabeth Learning Center in southeastern Los Angeles County. He has demonstrated a level of dedication to his students that is exceptional. He is a true partner of the school-based health center on his campus. He facilitates tours for his students to make sure they are comfortable in a medical setting. He also helps the health center conduct screenings for vision, obesity, STIs , and participates in the health center’s anti-bullying education. His students are better informed about personal and community health and are enthusiastically pursuing health careers.

Assemblymember Shirley Weber represents California’s 79th Assembly District, which includes parts of San Diego, and is an outspoken advocate for investing in education and health to improve equity for California’s children and youth.  She was a leading proponent of San Diego’s first school-based health center in 1989. In 2014, under her leadership as Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, the committee proposed a significant reinvestment in public health programs, including funding for school-based health centers. Always at the top of her agenda is doing what it takes so California’s children have what they need to be successful.

Video: Bruce McIver’s Students Pay Tribute