WEST ORANGE, NJ - West Orange High School nurse Denise Makri-Werzen has received the 2018 New Jersey State School Nurses Association Award for Essex County.

Werzen was nominated for the award by Daria Napolitano, Co-President of the Essex County School Nurses Association.

"I am grateful for the award and recognition," said Makri-Werzen. "I take my job very seriously, and I am committed to helping students and staff in the best way possible."

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With a student population of more than 2,000 students, Makri-Werzen serves a large and diverse student body, many of whom have complex medical conditions requiring skillful nursing care. She is currently working toward her doctorate in Health Administration and is a Union Representative for the West Orange Education Association.

Napolitano's recommendation read as follows:

"In addition to the many services she provides within her roles in the West Orange School District, Denise Makri-Werzen serves as Programming Coordinator for the Essex County School Nurses Association (ECSNA). The programs she has organized for ESCNA have included topics such as ‘How to Help LGBT Students and their Families,’ ‘Give it Your Best Shot: Talking to Parents about the HPV Vaccine,’ ‘Workplace Bully & School Nursing Issues,’ and ‘Legal Issues Facing School Nurses.’ ECSNA members in attendance at these programs have expressed gratitude for Denise arranging speakers that are both current and beneficial to school nursing practice. Denise is a strong advocate for her School Nurse peers and has continuously been available to provide valuable guidance and insight to any colleague reaching out for support."