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PACEs in Pediatrics

Highly-honored school nurse and nurse educator Robin Cogan calls PACEs Connection her ‘north star’; urges each member’s support!


Note: PACEs Connection is in dire financial straits. We are asking for support, from you, our 57,505 members, to help cover the loss of foundation funding that was promised and did not come through. Pay and hours have been cut for our staff—most of us will be laid off for the month of December. Another grant will pick up in January. Since sounding the alarm this summer, we’ve raised about $24,000. To get a sense of who your fellow members are, who is donating and why, please enjoy and share this second post in a series of donor profiles, and be like Robin: Please make a generous donation to PACEs Connection!

“PACEs Connection has been my north star for credible information about the science, research, and lived expertise that is centered on healing our most intractable problems,” says Robin Cogan, a nationally certified school nurse (NCSN) in an elementary school clinic in Camden, New Jersey.

Cissy & Cogan San Francisco Fall 2018

Cogan and former PACEs Connection employee and current blogger Cissy White met in person at the 2018 ACEs Conference in San Francisco after connecting on (then) ACEs Connection and Twitter!

She found PACEs Connection following the death of her father.

“He was a complex man who died from a hemorrhagic stroke, directly linked to the trauma he suffered as a 12-year-old boy witnessing the death of his entire family,’’ she explains. “He was buried on the 60th anniversary of the murders. I was on a quest to understand the life and death of my father, and found it through the research provided in the treasure trove of information available on PACEs Connection.”

Generational trauma

Cogan’s family has experienced the trauma of two mass shootings with both survivors and victims. A niece of Cogan’s was involved in a school shooting several years ago, and survived in the same way her grandfather survived in the mass shooting of his family seven decades earlier: She hid in a closet.

“Generational trauma was my original reason for digging deeper into the science of ACEs,” Cogan says. “It is my goal to do everything in my capacity as a school nurse and family-member survivor to end gun violence through public health measures which drive me to share this work. PACEs science holds the key by reducing and working to eliminate childhood adversity, especially exposure to violence. That will change the world.”

Headaches and stomach aches

As a clinical coordinator in the school nurse specialty program where she teaches at the Rutgers School of Nursing in Camden, Cogan has shared her passion and expertise in school nursing with hundreds of college students who follow in her footsteps to be, oftentimes, the one person who understands what’s happening when a child shows up at a school clinic with the fifth headache of the month; the third stomach ache of the week. She knows trauma is likely the root cause of many of those headaches and stomach aches.

Her work on the faculty in the School Nurse Certificate Program at Rutgers University-Camden School of Nursing earned her the 2018 Rutgers University – Camden Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award for Part-time Faculty.

"The Relentless School Nurse"Screen Shot 2022-11-01 at 3.57.36 PM

Cogan is also a prolific writer. Her weekly “Relentless School Nurse” posts were named “Top Nursing Blog” in 2020 on her website by the same name. Cogan also authors a monthly column in “My American Nurse”, the official journal of the American Nurses Association, and is the recipient of multiple awards for her work in school nursing and population health, including the 2019 and 2020 National Association of School Nurses President’s Award and the New Jersey Department of Health 2017 Population Health Hero Award. She was also named the 2018 National Certified School Nurse (NCSN) School Nurse of the Year, and the 2017 Johnson & Johnson School Nurse of the Year.

“Our gifts back…will bring more light..”

As for her generous support of PACEs Connection, Cogan says, “For so long the content of PACEs Connection has been open-access and I am sure that will continue. But answering this call for support is the least that we can provide for all that has been given by the organization.

“When you look at the structure behind PACEs Connection, you realize how few devoted people are providing so much content, research, opportunities for community building, and space to exhale in this complex world. I have given over the years, but realize that if each of us gave even a small amount, the collective impact would be a game-changer for PACEs Connection,” she adds.

”I appreciate that PACEs Connection lifts up community-inspired solutions by engaging grassroots groups working to heal their communities,” she says. “It  has been a focal hub for learning, growing, and amplifying the science of positive and adverse childhood experiences. Our gifts back will be used to bring more light into this world in great need of healing.”

Cogan encourages fellow members of PACEs Connection to join her in making a generous, tax-deductible donation to PACEs Connection here.

mail iconIf you'd prefer to mail your gift rather than give it online, here's how...

Make check payable to:
TSNE (Third Sector New England, our fiscal sponsor) and write PACEs Connection Donation on the memo line.

Mail check to:
PACEs Connection, c/o TSNE, 89 South Street, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02111

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Please contact Carey Sipp, Director of Strategic Partnerships, at


Images (3)
  • Top Nurse Blog 2020
  • The Relentless School Nurse
  • Cissy & Cogan San Francisco Fall 2018

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