The national Private, Independent, and Parochial School Nurses group has chosen Norfolk Academy's Betsy Looney as its Outstanding Awardee for 2020.
That PIPSN award goes annually to only one nurse in the entire country; it is recognition for a professional career showing a history of significant contributions to school nursing.
Mrs. Looney has served for more than two decades in that field, which she chose because of her love for helping young people.
“I felt I could make a difference in the lives of children," she said.
Mrs. Looney came to Norfolk Academy in 2017. Before that she was director of the health clinic at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Virginia Beach.
Among her many achievements, Mrs. Looney has been an invited guest for the annual Virginia Association of School Nurses conference, speaking on the importance of Automated External Defibrillators in all schools. She has put Academy at the forefront in the area of AEDs, which can be used for those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. She recently helped enable access for AEDs at our school's Wynne-Darden Stadium.
She has also been the subject of several newspaper articles for her contributions in school nursing, and was recognized on NPR radio for her efforts to obtain free EpiPens for parochial schools. And she presented “How to Become a Food Friendly School" at an Independent Schools conference; she plans to co-author an upcoming article on this topic.
PIPSN chairwoman Jan Brant said in a letter recognizing Mrs. Looney that the EpiPen program she initiated in 2015 was “truly inspiring." That effort delivered more than $20,000 of free EpiPens. “We know this will help save many lives in your community," the letter said.
Other accomplishments PIPSN highlighted were Mrs. Looney's campaign to obtain AEDs for private and parochial schools; a walk for diabetes; and an influenza immunization program.
Mrs. Looney is scheduled to be recognized at the National Association of School Nurses' annual conference later this year.
Congratulations to Mrs. Looney!