Health in Schools: Infection Control in K-12 Settings

header image, panel

Health in Schools: Infection Control in K-12 Settings

What does it take to keep a school population healthy? For decades, school and public officials have recognized that disease and infection transmission in schools is common, and they have discussed ways to ensure school populations are safe and healthy. Vaccine mandates have been common for several centuries, starting in Massachusetts in the 1850s. By 1963, 20 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico all had a variety of vaccine mandates in place. School nurses were introduced in the United States in the early 1900s, beginning in New York City in 1902, working with the Board of Health and the Board of Education with the goal of addressing minor health issues so the students would not have to miss class. 

Today, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, have legislation requiring specific vaccines for k-12 students, although religious and occasionally philosophical exemptions are allowed. Healthy schools require much more than vaccine mandates, including managing other communicable diseases such as pink eye and common colds, maintaining basic school sanitation, and enforcing mask mandates when necessary. 

Join us for a panel discussion on infection control in schools during and after the COVID-19 pandemic and hear how our panel of experts identify necessary health and safety measures and how these measures are enforced. This is our 50th Spotlight Series event and it is co-sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins School of Education.

ABOUT Mary Beth Miotto

Mary Beth Miotto, MD, MPH is the Chief Medical Officer of Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children, which includes a patient-dedicated public school on its campus. Prior to this position, she was the medical director of pediatric population health in an urban community health center, medical director of seven school-based health centers in Worcester, Massachusetts, and led the health center’s Complex ADHD and Autism Clinic. She has been an invited faculty member speaking on school health collaborations in pediatric and school nurse education programs throughout the Northeast.

Miotto is an active leader in specialty and state medical societies, currently serving as Vice President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the AAP and chairing its School Reopening COVID Task Force. Within the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS), Miotto is the Vice Chair of the Committee on Student Health and Sports Medicine and chairs both the MMS Women Physicians Section and its Committee on Communications. She sits on the executive committee of American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (COQIPS) and is a is a well-known “tweetiatrician” utilizing social media to advance science communication and child health advocacy. Miotto received her MD from The George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences and her MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

ABOUT Marsha Fishbane

Marsha Fishbane, MD, ScM is a retired pediatrician and public health physician. She was in private pediatric practice in West Palm Beach, Florida for six years before joining the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County for 30 years. She has extensive experience in community health collaboration and initiatives, and, as School Health Medical Director, oversaw implementation of a large school health program placing a nurse in every public school in the county.

Currently, Fishbane volunteers on the School Health Advisory Council for PBC providing guidance in addressing health policy and programs in schools. Fishbane was a co-founder of the nonprofit agency, Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies Coalition of PBC and continues to serve on the board. She is a trustee of the Palm Health Foundation and serves on the foundation’s Executive and Community Investment Committees. She completed her pediatric training at Johns Hopkins Hospital and received her Master of Science from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

ABOUT Peter Kannam

Peter Kannam, MS is the principal of Elmer A Henderson School. Kannam has over 25 years experience as an educator, including five years as a science and U.S. history teacher, two years in a special education inclusion classroom, several years as the executive director of Teach for America, Baltimore, and four years as executive director of New Leaders for New Schools Maryland. Kannam received his Master of Science in Education Administration from the Johns Hopkins School of Education in 1999. 

ABOUT Odion Ovbiagele

Odion Ovbiagele (she/her) is a first-year MSPH Health Policy student at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. She was born and raised in Alabama, where she received a B.S in Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). For the past 4 years, Odion has worked as a mathematics instructor for K-12 students in addition to teaching English conversation in Alicante, Spain. Her teaching experiences, among other things, have inspired her interest in disability justice and strengthened her desire to work towards a world where educators can properly meet the needs of their disabled students. Her other public health interests include environmental justice, anti-racism in public health practice, and eating disorders in communities of color.

 Event Date
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Start Time: 12:00pm EDT
End Time: 12:30pm EDT

Elizabeth Rigsbee

Status message

Registration for this event is now closed. A recording will be available here, If you have any questions, please email Elizabeth Rigsbee,