Tammy Knows the Importance of CIS

As a nurse, Tammy Hickman knows the importance of a student’s physical and mental health.  “Students are better learners when there is support for their social, emotional and health needs,” said the longtime Communities In Schools (CIS) of Northwest Michigan board member. “What I notice is that school staff feels the support of on-the-ground CIS staff and are able to reach out to CIS on behalf of the students. That helps provide a path forward for better school success because it lessens obstacles that can get in the way of learning.”

Tammy has her nursing degree and she is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has been working with kids since 1976. She has been with the Ironmen Health Center for 12 years.  “We are here to support the physical and mental health needs of Mancelona students,” she said.  She sees CIS as an important link to those needs. “This is a difficult time for public education,” she said. “Schools work hard to meet the needs of students in a time of higher expectations and lower funding. That’s where CIS comes in. I have seen schools “get” what CIS can do. Once they realize that, the excitement for our program is contagious.”  Tammy feels that the CIS team approach fits perfectly with the challenge schools are facing.  “We all need to meet the needs of students now, no matter the uncertainties we face,” she said. “CIS services help meet student needs so they have a better chance at school success. I think CIS will continue to grow because what we offer is unique and we have a great leader in Amy Burk.”

When Tammy isn’t working, she loves to be creative. That includes playing guitar and singing, along with sewing, knitting, cross-country skiing and kayaking. “I also love seeing my children and their families,” said Tammy, who grew in the Detroit area in a close-knit family. “I love the work I do and I have a wonderful, supportive family. I am very thankful!”