WMU News

WMU students help with free pre-school physicals

April 11, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- As part of Kalamazoo County's Head Start/School Readiness Roundup, students from Western Michigan University's Department of Physician Assistant will conduct free pre-school physicals for qualified children. Examinations will take place in the Georgian Room at the Nazareth Complex on 3299 Gull Road from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11, and Thursday, April 12.

This is the third year WMU's Physician Assistant students have volunteered for this service. Last year approximately 130 children were examined by 36 physician assistant students. "Every year our students have learned from this experience and appreciate being able to examine this pediatric population," says Barb Grinwis, academic coordinator for the Physician Assistant Department. "A big part of examining children is knowing how they interact with parents, siblings, and strangers."

On April 11, returning Head Start/School Readiness children will be seen, and on April 12, new children will be examined. "Following registration, every student is assigned a child," Grinwis says. "The entire examination takes between 1 and 1-1/2 hours. The children and families appreciate the close attention our students give them." During the physical examinations a faculty member from WMU's Physician Assistant Department as well as the Kalamazoo County medical examiner will be present to supervise the students. Other services provided at the Head Start/School Readiness Round-up will be: enrollment assistance, immunizations, vision and hearing screens, and dental examinations.

The Round-up is one of many services provided by the Kalamazoo County Head Start/School Readiness program, which serves economically disadvantaged children and their families. Families receive a variety of learning experiences encouraging intellectual, social, and emotional growth. Children participate in indoor and outdoor instruction and are introduced to concepts to enhance their skills prior to kindergarten. For more information about Kalamazoo County Head Start/School Readiness or the Round-up, call (616) 373-5006.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 616 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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