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Release: Oct. 13, 1999

UI hosts health fairs for children, adults Oct. 16 -17 at Old Capitol Mall

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The first step in health care for many children is overcoming their fear of seeing a doctor. With that goal in mind, University of Iowa College of Medicine students will host a Child Health Fair from 1 to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 16 at the Old Capitol Mall in downtown Iowa City. An Adult Health Fair to promote health awareness will be held the following day from 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 17 at the mall.

"The Child Health Fair will help kids learn what doctors, physician assistants and nurses do and why they do it," said Deborah Lindner, a second-year UI medical student from West Des Moines and one of the event organizers. "We hope the interactive events will help kids learn not to be afraid of going to the doctor."

UI medical and physician assistant students will show kids how stethoscopes, otoscopes and blood pressure cuffs work and help youngsters find their reflexes, text their hearing and listen to a heart beat. A nutrition and smoking-prevention booth will provide information and healthy fruit snacks.

Medical students will also explain the importance of hand washing and, using a special light, show kids how clean their hands are after washing. Representatives from the Iowa City Police Department will present bicycle safety tips at 3:30 p.m. Following that presentation, firefighters and emergency medical technicians will discuss fire safety and emergencies.

The Adult Health Fair on Sunday will offer free blood pressure screenings. In addition, adults can receive a free wallet-sized medication card on which to write current medications so the information will be handy during an emergency or routine doctor's appointment. People can visit information booths on organ donor awareness, and breast and testicular self-examination. Using anatomical models, medical students will demonstrate how to detect abnormalities.

The health fairs kick off the college's weeklong Primary Care Week celebration, which previously included only events for students.

"This is the first year we're involving the community in our focus on primary care," said Lindner, who is the UI student delegate to the American Association of Medical Colleges. "It's a

way for us to give back to the community in which we live and study. We hope to make the health fair weekend an annual event."

UI medical and other health sciences students will attend educational events on campus Oct. 18 - 22 during the remainder of Primary Care Week.

In addition to Lindner, second-year UI medical students Tracy Reittinger of Dyersville and Mark Williams of Seattle, Wash., are helping organize the week's events. UI Health Care physicians and staff are also assisting with the celebration.

Primary care includes family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology.

For more information about Primary Care Week events, call Lindner at 358-1148 or Reittinger at 341-3406.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.