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Madison (July 23, 2014)–The Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation brought together a coalition of medical, nursing and pharmacy students this afternoon to lead healthy living activities at the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County site on Jenewein Road in Madison. About 100 youth aged 7 to 13 participated in the “Prescription for a Healthy You” program.
Students from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, School of Nursing and School of Pharmacy planned and led activities, which were aimed at educating and empowering kids to make healthy choices.
Rachel Bennett, MD, a Wisconsin Medical Society member and family physician with UW Health-Fitchburg Clinic welcomed participants and kicked off the afternoon’s activities. The kids then rotated through four different, hands-on sessions focused on physical activity, healthy eating habits, heart health and the destructive effects of drugs and alcohol. The afternoon culminated with a career exploration panel, allowing the youth 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.
“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, nurse or pharmacist.”
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, UW Health gave each participant a small Bucky Badger gear bag perfect for carrying the sunglasses provided by Humana.
The program was made possible by donations from physicians across the state and others who support the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation, including support from Humana.
A similar program was held last week at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee site on West North Avenue in Milwaukee with activities led by a team of students from the Medical College of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Nursing and Concordia University Wisconsin School of Pharmacy.
Photos from the program will be posted on the Foundation’s Facebook page.
The Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation, chartered in 1955 as a charitable organization, works to advance the health of the people of Wisconsin by supporting medical and health education and statewide public health initiatives.