Volunteer dentists, dental assistants and hygienists are needed for Lake County’s 20th annual Kids First Health Fair, scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 1.
This project of the Lake County Health Department Community Health Center, the Rosalind Franklin School of Medicine and Science, and the United Way of Lake County allows Lake County families access to volunteer dentists and physicians who complete the required exams and medical forms that students need to get back to school.
Families that come to the fair in search of medical services that day also receive backpacks filled with school supplies – another key to their successful school year.
Debbie Warner, vision and hearing coordinator for Lake County and one of three chairs for the 20th Kids First Health Fair, expects about 1,000 families at the Health Fair. Eligible families must be Lake County residents and meet certain financial guidelines. They’ll come largely from working class neighborhoods in Waukegan, North Chicago and Gurnee for this free service that will get their children into their classrooms on the first day of school.
“The law is in place because the dental exam is an important part of being ready for school,” Ms. Warner said. Students whose exams return troubling results will be referred to the county’s clinic for follow-up care.
Many schools extend to families a grace period for completing the required medical forms. Forms due for the 2012-2013 academic year can be turned in as late as Oct. 15 in some areas. But the Waukegan schools require completed forms on the very first day of school; for these students especially, the Kids First Health Fair fulfills a tremendous need.
Ms. Warner said 600 volunteers are needed to staff the Kids First Health Fair, split into three shifts Aug. 1. The third shift – that in the late afternoon and early evening – will be the hardest to fill.
To learn more about the Kids First Health Fair and to volunteer, contact Debbie Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred) or 847.377.8870.