KidCheck model is one that works well

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 11, 2009

A program designed to help bring free health screenings to local school children who might not otherwise have this option was honored this week.

Gov. Bob Riley’s KidCheck program, which partners with two- and four-year nursing schools to administer screenings during the school day, was recognized by Auburn Montgomery’s Center for Government and Public Affairs and Center for Advanced Technologies as the 2009 Innovative Alabama Governments Award for Government Program Innovation at the state and regional level.

And what well-deserved recognition it was.

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Students in our local schools have been fortunate to have this health screening opportunity afforded to them in recent years.

The Troy University nursing department visited many of the schools throughout the area.

They started out small with only Pike County Elementary School participating, but this year added Goshen Elementary and both Banks Primary and Middle schools. Through this program students are screened for height, weight, vision, blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, respiration rate, lung sound, heart rhythms and hearing.

If abnormalities are found, an RN screens the student.

After the screenings, parents receive a report and assistance for children needing additional care.

With the cost of health care on the rise, some families cannot afford simple “well-visits,” which check for simple irregularities.

But with programs such as KidCheck, hundreds of children have the opportunity to get tested for simple things, and at no cost to parents.

All parents have to do is simply give their consent, it’s that easy.

And it’s the type of program that’s working well – for the students, for the nursing program and for the state.