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Medical, nursing and pharmacy students team up to share healthy living tips

The Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation brought together medical, nursing and pharmacy students yesterday in Milwaukee to lead healthy living activities at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee site on West North Avenue. Approximately 100 youth ages 7-13 participated in the program, called Prescription for a Healthy You.

Students from the Medical College of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing and Concordia University Wisconsin School of Pharmacy planned and led the activities, which were aimed at educating and empowering children to make healthy choices.

Michael Gutzeit, MD, a Society member and chief medical officer of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, welcomed participants and kicked off the afternoon’s activities by getting the kids up and moving. They 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 participants to ask questions of the students with the goal of encouraging the youth 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, evidence suggests 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. These items and the program were made possible by donations from physicians across the state and others who support the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation, including Humana. Dr. Gutzeit brought insulated lunch bags and travel mugs for the children to take home, courtesy of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

A similar program will be held at the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County in Madison on Wednesday, July 23, with activities led by a team of students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Visit the Foundation’s Facebook page for photos from the programs.

Back to July 17, 2014 Medigram