Little People’s Hospital is open for children’s fun and learning, Saturday, Oct. 14, at Hocking College
 
   

 

by Jared Rutecki

Are your children afraid to see the doctor? COMCorps is teaming up with area organizations Saturday, Oct. 14, at this year’s Little People's Hospital to lessen their fears and make it more fun.

“Little People's Hospital teaches kids all about X-rays and ear and eye exams,” says Nancy Schell, director of COMCorps. “It is set up to be fun and to show kids that going to the doctor doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience. Enjoyable and educational are two words that describe Little People's Hospital.”

Parents and guardians are encouraged to bring their children to the fun-filled event, which takes place in Nelsonville at the Hocking College Student Recreation Facility from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Little People's Hospital, part of Kids in Action, is co-sponsored by Hocking College and Athens County Children Services.

According to Kim Resanovich, Area Health Education Center nurse coordinator for Community Health Programs at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-COM), boothes and tables will feature health topics tailored for kids, including "911 – What’s Your Emergency?” “What’s in the Doctor’s Black Bag?” “Germs and Hand Washing” and “Vital Signs.”

About 35 first- and second-year OU-COM medical students are expected to participate in Little People's Hospital in addition to COMCorps members. COMCorps is OU-COM’s AmeriCorps program.

“Little People's Hospital gives our members an opportunity to provide health education to children and families in a fun environment,” Schell says. “It also helps members connect with the community. Medical students also will get to test their dramatic chops playing the costumed role of Ostie the Owl.”

Little People's Hospital is, however, only the tip of the iceberg of COMCorps’ community activities.

Over the past year, COMCorps has had a visible presence in area schools, providing health education to almost 8,000 children.

COMCorps presentations in schools included topics such as poison prevention, germs and dental care, and more than 17,000 screenings for lice, vision, hearing and gross motor skills were provided. COMCorps also assisted nearly 4,000 people through social service programs that provided gasoline vouchers and transportation to medical and dental appointments.

Members have served on the Red Cross Disaster Action Team, providing staffing during blizzards and floods, and four members assisted relief efforts during Hurricane Katrina.

COMCorps’ impact in the region has not gone unnoticed. While all AmeriCorps programs in Ohio receive federal funding through the Ohio Community Service Council, COMCorps was the only one to receive new competitive federal funding. COMCorps received perfect marks on its grant review.

“It’s an honor, but it’s also a great responsibility,” Schell says. “We have received recognition locally and at the state level; now, it’s terrific to get national acknowledgement for the hard work and important things we are doing.”

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Last updated: 03/27/2008