Sherry Bjerke

American Lung Association volunteer and school nurse Sherry Bjerke works directly on the first visionary lung health  goal: ‘Tobacco-related lung disease will be eliminated in future generations.’ Every day she works with students in the Worthington School District to teach them how to lead a healthy lifestyle and how to keep their lungs healthy. Sherry has conducted the American Lung Association's Word of Mouth Youth Tobacco Prevention Program since 2002. In just the past two years, she has facilitated classes for 260 fourth grade students and 157 fifth grade students.

The information that Sherry provides to her students enlightens them as to the harmful health effects of using tobacco. Her work will help the next generation to make good choices that will ensure their overall health and the prevent lung disease by giving them the facts before they are faced with the decision about smoking.

Sherry has also coordinated in-service trainings that brought trained American Lung Association of Ohio and Cleveland Clinic staff into the Worthington School District to teach educators about the Word of Mouth program. As a result, several educators became trained in the program and two new schools began implementing it as a result of her efforts.

In addition to volunteering her program services, Sherry has proven to be a strong advocate for tobacco related issues by serving on the Healthy Worthington Coalition, the Worthington Schools Wellness Committee, and the Worthington Health Curriculum Committee. She has worked with other school nurses and legislators to shape the language for the "Asthma Inhaler" law and chaired the Asthma Outreach Steering Committee and taught Open Airways classes.

The extraordinary amount of time and energy that Sherry Bjerke gives to her students and the community is above and beyond that of any school nurse. Sherry's efforts will benefit the Worthington community for years to come as her students make healthier choices and live longer lives based on the information she has given them.