Lakeshore News Tonight

This article underwritten by: Renetta DuBose

Students Gear Up For Healthy School Start

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School is starting for children throughout Northwest Indiana and local health providers are working to make sure that children around the region go to school healthy.  HealthLinc joined other health centers around the country to celebrate healthy children for National Health Center Week.  Kimberly Leitzow, a 17-year-old student from Valparaiso, and her mother Melissa Harpeo scanned more than a dozen health vendors at the health fair.

“It starts making you get fit for sports and activities and make sure you’re healthy for school and lets the school know if you have any health problems,” said Leitzow.

Heather Alvarez, HealthLinc’s Community Outreach Representative, planned the event.  She said parents should be prepared before classes start.

“They can come in and have immunizations, sports physicals, school physicals and dental evaluations at no cost for those that are uninsured.”

The event allowed people in the community to learn about health partners around the region and what they offer throughout the year.  MDwise, a state health provider, sponsored backpacks full of school supplies.  Other venders offered candy and information. 

Leitzow, who will be a junior in the fall, hopes to play basketball or become a cheerleader this school year.  She said some of the information at the fair provided her with a few tips she did not know before.

“It helps you just keep looking forward to a better future without drugs or any type of other stuff.”

While the event is fun and games, Alvarez stressed one important health fact.

“Dental checks are always good.  Those are usually left out and sort of an afterthought so it’s very important to keep good oral health.”

Additional back to school events will be sponsored by MDwise in the region this week.  The Citywide Back-to-School Rally will be held Thursday, Aug. 15 at Elston Middle School in Michigan City from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

HealthLinc in Michigan City will hold the Back-to-School Health and Fun Fairs Friday, Aug. 16 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  MDwise will contribute backpacks full of school supplies and offer immunizations and physicals.


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