Back-to-school event provides school supplies and health services to community

Lawrence, KS - As families get ready to head back to school for the fall, the crunch is on to get all the right supplies purchased, paperwork filled out, and immunizations and physicals scheduled. It can be a hectic time of year and many struggle to find the time and money to make it happen smoothly. That’s where local organizations, such as Heartland Community Health Center, can help.

In order to get kids off to a healthy start to the school year, Heartland, with support from Connect Church, will be focusing on the back-to-school needs of families during the week of Aug. 7-11, and beyond. During the event week, Heartland will offer reduced-cost school physicals and immunizations by appointment only. Free backpacks filled with assorted school supplies and free fluoride varnish to protect teeth, along with other helpful information, will be available on a walk-in basis during event hours.

The 2017 Back To School with Heartland event will be held Monday – Thursday 2:00-5:00 p.m. and Friday 1:00-3:00 p.m., August 7-11. However, reduced costs for physicals and immunizations will be honored through Sept. 30 this year, for those who are unable to schedule an appointment during the event week.

“Families will have affordable access to needed immunizations that will protect their own children and others,” said Jon Stewart, Heartland CEO. “But additionally, they will enjoy a central location for getting many essential back-to-school items checked off their list. We want the community to know that Heartland is a great resource for families, both right now and throughout the year.”

Schools are a top location for the spread of germs and infectious disease. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “making sure that children receive all their vaccinations on time is one of the most important things you can do as a parent to ensure your children’s long-term health—as well as the health of friends, classmates, and others in your community.”

With the recent upticks in measles and whooping cough cases, as well as the more modern ability to vaccinate teens against HPV, it is important for families to get information on how infectious diseases spread and the proper steps for prevention. Heartland encourages families to schedule a visit with their primary care provider, local clinic or health department to receive information and care.

Additionally, not all back-to-school activities are required by schools, but can go a long way to help kids with their school experience. Heartland’s partnership with Douglas County Dental Clinic and their implementation of a dental department in early 2017, will allow them to start kids off with a free fluoride varnish during the back-to-school event, but also serve children throughout the year with preventative treatments and restorative procedures, such as fillings.

“In the race to get ready for school, oral health care can often be overlooked,” said Heartland Dental Director Dr. Mollie Day. “The health of a child’s teeth and how they feel about their smile really does make a difference. We want them to be pain free and feeling confident, so they can focus on their work and have positive and productive school days.”

Heartland’s regular clinic hours are as follows: Monday & Wednesday – 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday & Thursday – 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Friday – 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Heartland is a Level 3 Patient-centered Medical Home and a Federally Qualified Health Center serving Douglas County and surrounding areas with primary care, behavioral health, psychiatry, dental care, physical therapy and assistance programs. Services are available to all, regardless of income or insurance status. Heartland is located at 346 Maine St., Ste. 150 in Lawrence, KS, and also offers an office inside the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department at 200 Maine St. The office within the Health Department is subject to Health Department hours of operation.

Tagged: children, immunizations, oral health, special event, Heartland Community Health Center, Back-to-school, fluoride varnish, Connect Church, vaccinations, kids, school supplies


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