Back-to-School Health Fair Provides Free Services, Supplies to Kids

Families without adequate health insurance or access to health care are invited to East High School next Wednesday, August 3 from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. for free physicals, health screenings, and school supplies. The program is made possible thanks to the Polk County Health Department and several area health providers.

“We want to make sure every student has a healthy start to the new school year, and are grateful for everyone who is making this opportunity possible again this year,” said Jean Phillips, health services supervisor for Des Moines Public Schools. “Health issues that go unchecked not only impact not only a student’s ability to learn but everyone around them.”

Last year, the health fair assisted nearly 2,000 students.

“Back to school time can be very hectic, trying to coordinate schedules and wrap up summer activities, but it’s important to remember to get your kids’ health check-ups done because healthy kids do better in school,” said Sarah Boese, a Polk County Health Department educator and planning committee chairwoman for the event. “The back to school health fair at East High makes it easy for families who do not have adequate health insurance to get both health check-ups and school supplies for their kids done at once.”

Local healthcare professionals will be providing:

  • Physicals – required for children entering kindergarten, third, sixth, and ninth grades
  • Vision screenings
  • Immunizations – required for all students
  • Dental screenings – required for children entering kindergarten and ninth grades
  • Preschool screenings including vision, hearing, and developmental screenings
  • Hawk-I insurance application assistance

Children who participate in the health services will receive a free backpack filled with grade specific school supplies. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Supporters of the health fair, in addition to Des Moines Public Schools and the Polk County Health Department, include: Freedom For Youth Ministries, Visiting Nurse Services, Des Moines University, Mercy College of Nursing, Kaplan Nursing students, DMACC, Grandview University, I-Smile, Primary Health Care, La Clinica, Broadlawns Hospital, Iowa Health Systems, the Lions Club, and Heartland AEA. In addition, Dee Zee Manufacturing donated backpacks that were filled by volunteers from 20 different church congregations.