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Medical, nursing and pharmacy students brave heat to share healthy living tips with youth

Release Date: July 22, 2016
Contact: Kendi Parvin - 608.442.3748 kendi.parvin@wismed.org

Milwaukee (July 22, 2016) – The Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation brought together a coalition of medical, nursing and pharmacy students yesterday to lead healthy living activities at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee Camp Whitcomb/Mason in Hartland. About 100 youth aged 7-13 participated in the “Prescription for a Healthy You” program.

Students from the Medical College of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing and Concordia University Wisconsin School of Pharmacy led activities, which were aimed at educating and empowering kids to make healthy choices. Because of the heat, a common theme for the day was the importance of staying hydrated.

Participants rotated through four different hands-on sessions focused on physical activity, healthy eating habits, body wellness and mindfulness through yoga. The afternoon culminated with a career exploration panel allowing participants to ask questions of the medical, nursing and pharmacy students with the goal of encouraging them to consider careers in medicine or related health careers.

Paul Hunter, MD, a Wisconsin Medical Society member and associate director of the City of Milwaukee Health Department, stopped by to interact with student volunteers and youth during the first body wellness session.

“The goals of the Prescription for a Healthy You program are three-fold,” said Eileen Wilson, the Foundation’s executive director. “First, it provides practical tips for children and their families on making healthy living choices. Second, it encourages cooperation between future doctors, nurses and pharmacists and offers them a meaningful volunteer opportunity. Third, and perhaps most important, it exposes the children to young people pursuing health care careers who can serve as role models and encourage the children to think that they, too, could go to school to become a doctor or other health care professional.”

According to the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, there is evidence to suggest that “greater workforce diversity may lead to improved public health, primarily through better interactions between patients and health care professionals.” Working with the Boys & Girls Club program allows the Foundation to reach children from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds and expose them to some of the career possibilities in health care.

Each participant received a string backpack filled with a water bottle and healthy living tips to share with his or her family. Additionally, United HealthCare give each participant a bilingual dietitian-approved, kid-friendly cookbook perfect for encouraging healthy eating at home.

The program was made possible by donations from physicians across the state and others who support the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation, including support from WPS Health Solutions.

Similar programs were held at the Boys & Girls Club Dane County in Madison on July 13 and at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Wausau Area on July 21. Activities were led by teams of students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Medical College of Wisconsin-Central Wisconsin Campus, respectively.

Photos from the program will be posted on the Foundation’s Facebook page.

The Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation was chartered in 1955 as a charitable organization that works to advance the health of the people of Wisconsin by supporting medical education and health initiatives.

With more than 12,500 members dedicated to the best interests of their patients, the Wisconsin Medical Society is the largest association of medical doctors in the state and a trusted source for health policy leadership since 1841.