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2019 Health Care Champions Nurse: Teresa Grigg

Nixa Public Schools

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As the lead nurse of Nixa Public Schools for the last four years, Teresa Grigg has had quite an impact on her community.

She’s responsible for overseeing the health and wellness of more than 6,700 students and over 800 staff within the school district. But her reach doesn’t stop there.

Grigg says she’s constantly answering health-related questions for friends on Facebook, by families she runs into at Walmart or on phone calls she receives from members at her church.

“I am a nurse wherever I go and helping others is my favorite thing to do,” Grigg says. “I have the privilege to impact the health of so many in our community every day.”

Her position, which she stepped into in 2015 after serving as a nurse at Mathews Elementary, also allows her to make improvements to the school district. Every two years, she’s required to create a report to share concerns, strengths and recommendations for the health services department. Grigg says she’s been part of a handful of improvements in the district, like updating software to improve nurse efficiency, maintaining a better work climate to retain nurses longer, transitioning to electronic health records, increasing student confidentiality and creating handbooks for substitute nurses.

She also was part of the process to create partnerships between the district and local mental health care clinics.

“These improvements make us better equipped to handle emergencies, provide better overall care to our students and staff, and promote healthier lives for the families in our community,” she says.

Grigg also is constantly finding ways to improve the job and make ongoing education available to the team of 11.

“Some days can be overwhelming, difficult and accompanied with complaints,” she says. “It is my responsibility to make improvements in the job climate of my nurses and solve problems to help them be more effective at what they do for their students and their facilities.”

Grigg enjoys traveling in her spare time, but her trips aren’t always a vacation.

She’s typically planning trips where she can give nursing and health-related services to various communities around the world. She’s traveled to Romania, where she’s provided villages with reading glasses, over-the-counter medicine and health education, she says.

She’s also traveled to southern Texas and as far as the Himalayas.

“I grew up always wanting to be a nurse and desiring to help people,” says Grigg, who’s a registered nurse practitioner and certified CPR instructor.

Before her career in the Ozarks, Grigg was a registered nurse at a community hospital in Piggott, Arkansas, followed by her career at the Arkansas Department of Health, where she worked with pregnant teenagers, low-income mothers and Hispanic women from 1994-2000. She also was a clinical coordinator for an obstetrics and gynecology clinic in North Carolina.

She says her greatest accomplishments are the moments she shared with her students and co-workers in Nixa schools.

“(My awards) are the moments where you help an injured child stop crying and show you care by bandaging their wounds … or the times when you hear a student shared with their mom, ‘I know what to do, nurse Teresa taught me this in fourth grade,’” she says.

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