If you had to pinpoint the hub of Hillsides, look no further than the nursing office. There, Kim Weleba, the nursing office supervisor known by the children as “Nurse Kim,” and a staff of six nurses and an office manager handle the medical needs of the 125 children who annually live on campus at our residential treatment program.
The staff’s duties range from the simple – treating cuts, burns, and acne – to the medically complicated – managing care for children with diabetes, weight issues, hearing disabilities, and severe food allergies. They schedule and manage the children’s doctors’ appointments, monitor and dispense daily medications, oversee immunizations, and handle the preventative care of the asthmatic clients (numbering nearly one third of our population).
During school hours, the staff provides medication support and first aid for the 130 students each year who attend the Hillsides Education Center. And any time of day, the nurses are available to provide ample doses of TLC. They offer a sympathetic ear and comfort when children suffer from a stress-related ailment, such as a stomachache, and provide home care packages of soup, juice, and other goodies for sick school children who may not have these essentials at home.
“We have kids here with real challenges, and our job is to do everything in our power for them,” says Nurse Kim. “We want them to leave us healthy and feeling good about themselves, knowing we impacted their lives by teaching them about health care and how to advocate for their own health.”