HEALTH

Free annual health screenings will be offered to Provo City School District students

Apr 10, 2024, 4:00 PM

Provo School year Plan...

Free annual health screenings will soon be offered at elementary schools in the Provo City School District. (Photo Credit: Provo City School District)

(Photo Credit: Provo City School District)

PROVO, Utah — Free annual health screenings will soon be offered at elementary schools in the Provo City School District.

The Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine (Noorda-COM), and financial donors like the Provo Open, have partnered to bring free health screenings to students. 

The program is called Kaufusi’s Keikis after Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi. She once considered herself “a free and reduced lunch” kid. Keikis is the Hawaiian word for children.

“This program would have been significant to my mother had she had access to these opt-in check-ups,” Kaufusi said. “Those were things that probably could have made a huge impact on myself and my six siblings.”

Kaufusi was born and raised in Provo by a single mom. She said the Provo community rallied around them, and she hopes this program will help more families like hers. While they hope to expand to all Provo City School District schools, the program will first focus on Title I schools. 

“It’s going to be an opportunity to receive the free annual opt-in health screenings,” Kaufusi said. “They will especially be beneficial for the low-income and under-resourced communities.”

How will the free Provo health screenings work?

Dr. Norman Wright, President of Noorda-COM, explained medical school students will be accompanied by Noorda-COM faculty at each screening station. Those stations will do basic physical checks on things like students’ vital signs, ears, nose, throat, basic dental and vision.

“We’ll set this up in the evening, and parents will choose to opt-in, or they will choose not to opt in,” said Dr. Wright. “At the event, we will have our Noorda-COM students under faculty direction.”

Dr. Wright said the vision for the program was born out of a desire to have his medical school students get more opportunities to interact with and help the community. The former dean of the school had started a similar program in Kansas City that had gone well. Dr. Wright figured this would be a great way to make a difference in the lives of his medical students, as well as the members of the community.

“It’s really a reflection of our desire to see our students become caring, confident and competent physicians,” he said. “If you’re going to be caring, there’s probably no better way than getting out and interacting with a bunch of little kids, especially those who may not have the best access to medical care.”

The program will be rolled out in phrases. The first health screening fair will be on May 1 at Timpanogos Elementary School.

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Free annual health screenings will be offered to Provo City School District students