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Annual children’s health fair offers free immunizations, sports physicals, bone marrow registration

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Indianapolis, July 26, 2012 — As summer swings into high gear, children will soon be preparing for the start of the school year. And with the school year quickly approaching, it is important for children to have regular medical checkups and screenings.

This Saturday, July 28, Blackburn Health Center will host a free children’s health fair featuring sports physicals, immunizations and exciting children’s games. The annual Randall S. Smith Jr. Children’s Health Fair will be held from 8 a.m. to noon at Blackburn Health Center, 2700 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. A special bone marrow registration and education booth will also be part of the day’s activities. The event will also feature college information with representatives from Brown Mackie College on hand to answer questions.

Health care professionals will be available to provide information and free immunizations for children and sports physicals for junior high and high school students. Parents are asked to bring their children’s immunization records with them to the event. Bone marrow registration and education will be offered. There will also be staff members from Wishard available to provide nutrition education tips. In addition to free health screenings and information, games, food and music will also be part of the day’s activities.

“With the start of the school year just around the corner, the seventh annual Randall S. Smith Jr. Children’s Health Fair offers an excellent opportunity for children to get the health care and information they need,” said Dr. John Kunzer, a pediatrician at Blackburn Health Center. “We hope the public comes out and enjoys the free food, games and music, and at the same time takes advantage of the wonderful services that will be available at Blackburn Health Center.”

Featured screenings and information booths will include dental services provided by the Marion County Public Health Department, information from Women, Infants and Children (WIC), lead screenings, social services and CPR training.

Randall S. Smith Jr., a 14 year-old-patient at Blackburn Health Center, passed away on June 8, 2006, from a combined form of blood cancer (leukemia/lymphoma). A bone marrow transplant could have helped him survive and, as a result, every year the health fair includes a bone marrow registration and information booth.

Smith was an inspiration to others as he fought his illness with courage while always keeping a positive attitude. He never complained; instead, he worried more about how his illness affected his family. Prior to his death, Smith made his mom promise to always try and help other children.

Traditionally, African-Americans are underrepresented on the bone marrow registry. July is African-American Bone Marrow Awareness Month.

Sponsors for the Randall S. Smith Jr. Children’s Health Fair include the IU School of Medicine Pediatric Student Interest Group, Eskenazi Medical Group, MDwise, St. Margaret’s Hospital Guild, Brown Mackie College, Peace of Cake Party and Event Services and Wishard Health Services.

Blackburn Health Center, one of 10 Wishard community health centers, provides health care services including primary care, family planning, social and dental services.

For more information about the health fair,  call (317) 931-4303.

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