KLAWOCK - Pediatric nurse practitioner Nancy Cavanaugh will be on Prince of Wales Island during June to see patients ages 0 to 21 in four communities served by the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.
Cavanaugh will see patients as part of the Hydaburg Community Health and Safety Fair on June 1 and 2 at the SEARHC Hydaburg Health Center; at the SEARHC Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock from June 3 to 5, and June 15, 17 and 19; at the SEARHC Kasaan Health Center on June 16; and at the SEARHC Thorne Bay Health Center on June 18.
While on POW, Cavanaugh will be able to provide well-child exams, sports physicals and school immunizations. These pediatric exams are available for all ages of youth, not just infants, and this is a good time to beat the back-to-school rush for physicals. A limited number of free bicycle helmets are available to children who have well-child exams, and they will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Parents are reminded that starting with the new school year the State of Alaska will require two varicella (chicken pox) vaccines for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Children will need a record showing two doses of varicella vaccine, unless they are exempt because they have a history of the disease (recorded on a new state form) or a valid medical exemption (also requiring a new state form). For more information about the new varicella vaccination requirements or to download the required exemption forms, go to http://www.epi.alaska.gov/id/iz/factsheet/IZReqChanges2009.pdf.
A well-child exam is a the best way for parents to ensure their children's health problems are diagnosed and treated early, before they become more complex and costly to treat. A well-child exam looks at a child's developmental, social, physical, nutrition and health history, and it includes necessary dental and vision care referrals, immunizations and child health guidance for parents.
Well-child exams are covered by the Indian Health Service for all Native patients. The exams also are covered by most private insurance plans and by Denali KidCare or Medicaid for families that meet certain income qualifications, regardless of whether or not the families are Native or non-Native. To see if your family qualifies for Denali KidCare, go to http://www.hss.state.ak.us/dhcs/DenaliKidCare/default.htm.
For more information about well-child exams and the Denali KidCare program on Prince of Wales Island, contact Gloria Morris, RN, at 907-755-4925. To schedule an appointment for one of these special pediatric exams, contact the Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock at 907-755-4800, the Thorne Bay Health Center at 828-8848, the Kasaan Health Center at 907-542-2222 (call Suzanne in Thorne Bay if no answer in Kasaan) or the Hydaburg Health Center at 907-285-3462.