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Health Checks

Troy University senior nursing student Kristine Williams checks Sean Bassett's ears during the free Sight Savers America KidCheck Plus Health Screenings at Banks Middle School on Monday. (Photo/Jaine Treadwell)

Grant helps provide free screenings for students

Students at Banks Primary and Middle schools received free comprehensive health screenings Monday.

The students participated in the Sight Savers America KidCheck Plus Health Screening Program.

Miranda Stiles, KidCheck event specialist, said each child with parental permission

participated in height and weight, vision, dental, eyes, ears, nose and throat, chest and abdomen and skin and musculoskeletal screenings. The health assessments were administered by senior nursing students from the Troy University School of Nursing.

“The KidCheck Plus Health Screening program provides free screenings for students and provides a hands-on learning opportunity for the nursing students,” Stiles said. “The screenings provide data that identifies abnormalities and also pinpoints reoccurring abnormalities in this population area.”

KidCheck event specialists set up the needed computer hardware and managed the wireless technology components of the screening.

In May 2011, the Verizon Foundation awarded a $100,000 grant to Sight Savers America with allowed SSA to create the new, customized wireless program that is being used for the SSA KidCheck Plus school system. The wireless program allows SSA KidCheck Plus to automate the screening and vision referral process.

“At the end of the screenings, each student was given a printed out parent report letter to take home to their parents outlining the results of the screenings,” Stiles said. “Every child failing a vision screening will be referred to Sight Savers America that will follow up to ensure the child receives any necessary eye care services, regardless of their ability to pay.”

Stiles said about 600 eye care professionals across the state do pro-bono work for Sight Savers America.

SSA KidCheck state partner, ALL Kids, provides public health insurance applications and other informational materials for all SSA KidCheck events.

“This is a way to help identify uninsured children in Alabama and to provide parents with resources to enroll eligible children in Medicaid and ALL Kids,” Stiles said.

The SSA KidCheck Program is the only program of its kind in the country and has received numerous awards and recognitions for its accomplishments in improving quality and access to healthcare for underserved children in Alabama.

The health screenings will be performed at Goshen Elementary School on Jan. 30, bringing the number of participating kindergarten through eighth-graders in Pike County to 750.