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posted: 7/21/2014 2:57 PM

Kids 1st Health Fair Shifts Focus to Offer New Resources

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Lake County Health Department

Kids 1st Health Fair, which has provided free immunizations and other health services to low-income Lake County children since 1993, is evolving in response to new federal guidelines.

While school-aged children will receive the usual immunizations and screenings at the fair, to be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 6 at Miguel Juarez Middle School, 201 N. Butrick St. in Waukegan, organizers will assist all parents and legal guardians in transitioning to medical homes to seek routine preventative care and treatment in the future.

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"Under the Affordable Care Act, more comprehensive health care is now available for our residents and children," said Tony Beltran, executive director of the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center, which co-sponsors the event. "We believe the most valuable service the fair can provide is to encourage residents to address their entire family's needs by establishing trusted long-term relationships with healthcare professionals."

Representatives from a variety of local healthcare providers will be available during the fair to discuss their services and explain how to access those services under the ACA.

The fair is also sponsored by United Way of Lake County and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, which has sent medical and health science students, faculty and administrative professionals to staff the fair.

"We have been proud to support Kids 1st," said Dr. K. Michael Welch, president and CEO of RFUMS. "Healthy children make healthy communities. We're very pleased that under newly-expanded models for care, every child may receive regular check-ups and treatment."

"United Way is honored to partner with the Lake County Health Department and Rosalind Franklin University on this health fair that serves the medical needs of so many school-age children in Lake County," said Kristi Long, UWLC president and CEO. "It's critical to ensure that kids are healthy and ready to learn when school begins in the fall."

The fair began in 1993 thanks to the support of the Abbott Fund, the foundation of the global health care company Abbott, which is based in Lake County. Each year, more than 600 nurses, lab technicians, health aids, clerical staff, doctors, dentists, community residents, corporate employees and bilingual volunteers contribute to the fair's success. Services are free for Lake County families that meet specific income guidelines, including a gross household income of $44,122 or less. State-required services include dental screenings for children in Head Start, preschool, kindergarten, second and sixth grades; physicals for children in Head Start, preschool, kindergarten, sixth and ninth grades; and immunizations for children entering preschool, kindergarten, sixth and ninth grades.

The 2014 fair will offer foot and shoe assessments by a podiatric team from RFUMS. The university will also send nutritionists, who will speak to families about eating healthy. Each school-aged child in attendance will receive a nylon bag containing a healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack from the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

A few requirements must be met for families to receive services through the Fair. They are as follows:

• Immunization record for each child receiving services

• All Kids insurance card or proof of Medicaid enrollment (serves as proof of income and residency)

Those who don't have coverage under All Kids or Medicaid must provide the following:

• Proof of Lake County residency (current driver's license or utility bill)

• If employed, last two pay stubs or letter from employer indicating cash payment amount

• If unemployed, last two unemployment stubs, dismissal letter from employer, or statement from family/friends providing current assistance

School supplies will be distributed during the fair. For more information, please contact Deb Warner with the Lake County Health Department at: (847) 377-8870.

Fair Facts:

• The year the Fair had the highest attendance was 2009, when 2,785 children received services.

• Last year, 892 children received services at the Fair.

• The Fair has provided 9,270 free immunizations, 14,270 free physicals, and 15,634 free dental screenings since 1993.

• There are no charges for any services at the Kids 1st Health Fair.

The Lake County Health Department was established by referendum in 1956 as a state-certified public health department. It is responsible for the prevention of disease and disability, the promotion of health and assuring a healthful environment. The Lake County Community Health Center, a Joint Commission accredited agency, provides high quality, comprehensive healthcare that is accessible, coordinated, community directed and culturally sensitive. For more information, visit: http://health.lakecountyil.gov.

Formed in 1912 as the Chicago Hospital-College of Medicine, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a national leader in interprofessional medical and healthcare education, offering a doctor of medicine program through the Chicago Medical School, doctor of podiatric medicine program through the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, a range of degrees through its College of Health Professions, including nurse anesthesia, nutrition, physical therapy, pathologists' assistant and physician assistant, and a doctor of pharmacy through its College of Pharmacy. The university also offers advanced biomedical degrees through the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. For more information, please visit www.rosalindfranklin.edu.

United Way of Lake County (UWLC) is preparing our children to succeed in a changing world by focusing on education and building safe and stable families. Working with nonprofit agencies and community partners, we have identified four key programs to prepare children to succeed: Success By 6 Program--prepare for kindergarten; Reading Success Program--read at grade level; Stay in School Program-- graduate high school; and the Safe and Stable Families Program--empowering families. UWLC is overcoming reading and educational barriers by reaching children from preschool through high school, through these key programs. The overall effect and benefits are multiplied by the strong collaboration with agencies and our community partners. For more information, visit www.LIVEUNITEDlakecounty.org.

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