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Mrs. DeFruscio and Hannah Bielawa

Green Meadow’s school nurse Mrs. DeFruscio with kindergarten student Hannah Bielawa.

For the second straight year, a school nurse from East Greenbush Central School District has been honored in the Times Union’s “Salute to Nurses,” recognizing the top nurses in the Capital Region.

Kathleen DeFruscio, the nurse at Green Meadow Elementary School, was one of 10 nurses in the Capital Region to be selected for the 2017 Salute to Nurses. She was nominated by Shaneh Bielawa, the parent of a kindergarten student who has Type 1 Diabetes.

In Mrs. Bielawa’s nomination letter, she wrote how Mrs. DeFruscio met with the family before the school year began to discuss her daughter Hannah’s condition and how they could work together to control it.

Mrs. DeFruscio closely monitors Hannah’s blood sugar levels, seeing her four or five times a day and adjusts her insulin as needed. She also advises the family about what to bring up at doctor’s appointments and has recommended a pediatric ophthalmologist.

“Kathy is not only an amazing nurse and caregiver for our daughter, but Hannah truly loves Kathy and I know that Kathy loves Hannah,” wrote Mrs. Bielawa in her nomination letter. “This is what true nursing is.”

Mrs. DeFruscio has been a nurse for nearly 40 years, and the past 11 at Green Meadow. She also works one night a week at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center.

“I am very proud of Mrs. DeFruscio for receiving this award,” said Principal Dan Garab. “School nurses face unique challenges and circumstances. Mrs. DeFrucsio strives to do her very best to meet these challenges so our students receive the best care possible while in school.”

Mrs. DeFruscio said she sees about 30-50 kids a day for various reasons – headaches, stomach aches, bug bites or just missing their parents. Whatever the reason for the visit, she cares for the kids until they’re better.

“I love to see smiles on their faces,” Mrs. DeFruscio said.

Congratulations to Mrs. DeFruscio!