Walnut Street Students Hold Health Fair at Wellmark

Walnut Street School students presented several of their research projects during a health fair at Wellmark.

Yes, Tyra Miller is a 5th grader and yes she did once contract fifth disease, but she was a precocious patient, enduring the viral ailment marked by a rash when she was a mere 2nd grader. How did it get its unimaginative name? It just happened to be the fifth isolated pediatric infection that was known to produce a fever and rash. That’s why it’s commonly referred to so blandly instead of the fancy medical name erythema infectiosum or the laymanlier but misleading slapped cheeks disease. Maybe you’ve heard of its cousin, measles.

Everything you always wanted to know about fifth disease but were afraid to ask was just one portion of all the wellness information that was served up yesterday by Tyra and her classmates at the Walnut Street School Health Fair hosted by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Wellmark Chairman and CEO John Forsyth thinks it’s important to engage young people in conversations about health and well-being. “I am proud that Wellmark employees assisted these students by providing feedback and encouragement as they presented their health fair projects,” he said.  “We are glad to have the opportunity to work with the Walnut Street School on this great activity.”

The students presented on health related topics of their choice, ranging from foot fungus to liver disease.  Each student created a display. For instance, Fiona Donnelly’s exhibit about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) featured a small crib with a baby doll so Fiona could demonstrate the proper way to lay an infant down for a nap.

“Our students appreciate the opportunity to present their projects to Wellmark experts,” said Amy Taylor, Instructional Coach/IB Coordinator at WSS. “This health fair is the summative project for their Who We Are unit of inquiry within our International Baccalaureate curriculum.”

The health fair is an annual event, and the culmination of a unit on how health systems contribute to wellness. The students spent several weeks researching their topics and developing their presentations. Dr. William Jagiello, Wellmark Medical Director, provided guidance, and assisted the students with their projects.

The health fair was held outside Wellmark’s Blues Café in their beautiful new headquarters just blocks away from WSS during the lunch hour, but not even the inclusion of an exhibit on food poisoning drove any business away. A steady stream of employees was happy to run the gamut of exhibitors and listen to their presentations. Maybe some of them even made healthier choices in the chow line.

Photos of Walnut Street Students at Wellmark Health Fair

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