The Long Beach School Nurses Association has awarded the 2009 School Nurse of the Year title to Debra Farnum, a nurse at Stevenson Elementary and Robinson Academy.
Farnum has been a nurse for more than 30 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1975 from Cal State Los Angeles and her master’s in community mental health nursing from UCLA in 1979.
The 13-year LBUSD employee also worked with the Los Angeles Unified School District for a year and with the Tustin Unified School District for two years. During her career as a school nurse she has received numerous awards for her accomplishments and for her active involvement in the community.
She created and implemented an asthma project for LBUSD in 1998. In 2004, Farnum earned a $90,000 grant for the Nurses Against Asthma project.
Throughout her career, Farnum has been an active organizer, fundraiser and volunteer for many health-related organizations, including CSNO, LBSNA, Association of Asthma Educators, American Lung Association, Asthma and Allergy Association, Beta Phi Sigma Sorority, National School of Negro Women, and Bethune School.
Farnum's fund-raising activities have included fashion shows, a book drive, food drives, Easter parties, a Thanksgiving program, Christmas toy programs, Christmas parties, and many charitable walks.
Farnum's other honors and awards include: The Pearl Award in 2004, received from the Beta Phi Sigma Sorority; The Golden Apple Award in 2006, from TALB; a Long Beach Unsung Hero Award in 2007, from NAACP and the Mayor of Long Beach; a certificate of recognition from a member of Congress, and a certificate of recognition from a California senator.