The first Nancy Atmospera-Walch teacher in school health appointed


Deborah J. Mattheus

The Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing at the University of Hawaii in Mānoa appointed associate professor Deborah J. Mattheus, as Nancy Atmospera-Walch’s first teacher in school health, as of October 1, 2021.

The endowed chair was created in 2021 by Nancy Atmospera-Walch for a nursing faculty dedicated to increasing the academic success of Hawaii young people by giving them access to health care in public schools. Mattheus will contribute to the efforts of the Hawaii Keiki: healthy and ready to learn program (Hong Kong), a partnership between the EUH Mānoa Nursing Program and the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE).

“Deb is an inspirational leader who is wholeheartedly committed to the health of Hawaiichildren of “said Mary G. Boland, retired dean and professor. “She is an expert in pediatric and oral health care whose efforts improve student health while providing school-based learning experiences for professional health science students at EUH. Mattheus is a nationally recognized clinician, educator and researcher whose innovative approaches are changing the delivery of care and education.

“I am honored to have been selected for this chair and I am very excited about the amazing things we have planned to help improve the health of Hawaii‘s keiki, ”said Mattheus. “It is a privilege to pursue the vision of retired dean Mary Boland with the Hawaii Keiki program. We have a fantastic team of healthcare providers who are the heart and soul of this program. This endowment will help build momentum and strengthen our school health capacity by providing equitable and culturally appropriate health services.

Specialized in school health

Mattheus is a full associate professor who joined the EUH Mānoa Faculty of Nursing in 2014. She is a pediatric nurse practitioner with over 30 years of experience.

A pioneer in improving the delivery of health in school and increasing positive oral health outcomes in Hawaii and across the country, his leadership as Hong Kong the program’s senior practice director expanded the program to provide health services to each DOE school in the state. Among the achievements of the program is the considerable increase in the number of nurses DOE Complex areas statewide; implement a telehealth program to serve students and families during the COVID-19 pandemic; and secure funds to establish a dental sealant program for elementary school students.

Impact of funding and research areas

To date, Mattheus has secured extramural funding grants totaling $ 2.5 million. His current projects, grants and federally funded research focus on children’s vulnerability with a focus on oral health, dental sealants, school health centers, telehealth and enlargement. of the oral health workforce. As a Co-Principal Investigator, Mattheus’ projects include adolescent research, telehealth education and practice, school vaccinations, vaccination intentions, and oral health outcomes for women. pregnant and children.

In 2020, Mattheus was one of six healthcare professionals nationwide selected by the Center for Integration of Primary Care and Oral Health as champion of oral health Hawaii: Campaign of 100 million mouths. She directs this effort in Hawaii incorporate oral health information into the curricula of health professions schools as a model that other states can implement.

His research and projects have inspired the redesign and innovation of dental hygiene and nursing curricula. Most importantly, the children of Hawaii– especially the under-served – have better access to health services.

Mattheus holds a Doctorate in nursing EUH Mānoa, a master’s degree in nursing from Simmons College and a bachelor’s degree from American International College.

Learn more about Mattheus on the Nursing website.

This appointment is an example of EUH Mānoa’s goal of Improve student success (PDF) and Research Excellence: Advancing the Business of Research and Creative Work (PDF), two of the four objectives identified in the 2015-25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.

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