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Rootstown resident and Kent professional Stacy Simera recently traveled through Washington, D.C., and West Virginia on behalf of adolescent health.
Simera is a clinical social worker with Kent Psychological Associates and serves as chair of the Sleep Committee for the Ohio Adolescent Health Partnership and as communications director for the non-profit Start School Later, Inc.
She was in D.C. for the first national Adolescent Sleep, Health, & School Start Times Conference sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the RAND Corporation, the Yale School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, and Start School Later, where she represented Start School Later at its exhibitor's table.
After the conference Simera traveled to West Virginia to speak at the West Virginia Sleep Society's Annual Meeting on the role of school start times in adolescent sleep.
Simera enjoyed meeting the researchers and scientists with whom she had previously only communicated via email, yet she states her favorite moment was when a school official approached her midway into the conference.
"He told me he had initially been skeptical about a possible 'slant' to the conference," she said. "But after hearing the experts cite the mountains of data, he said to me: 'StartSchooLater.net is like KeepKidsFromSmoking.net or StopMalnutrition.net -- there really isn't another side, is there?' I hope that particular school official, like many others who were at the conference, will act on his new insight."
Simera is frequently asked to present on the topic of health to local schools, colleges, and professional health groups.