ACT Kids Health Fair
About the Arizona Coalition for Tomorrow (ACT)
Arizona Coalition for Tomorrow (ACT) is a not-for profit organization of concerned citizens committed to improving the health and education readiness for at-risk children eligible for Valley Head Start Programs. In 2010, ACT broadened its reach to include the community at large.
Working with businesses, government and educational leaders and partnering with organizations like Maricopa County Medical Society (MCMS), ACT organizes its annual health fair volunteer event to provide preventative health screenings and immunizations; such as dental, eye, hearing and asthma screenings, lead testing, TB tests, physicals, blood tests, immunizations, vision screenings and nutrition information. They also provide transportation to and from the children’s neighborhoods, establish and update medical records, and arrange continuing care, as need. To date, over 20,000 children have been screened.
For 22 years the ACT Kids Health Fair has served as a unique example of how public and private organizations in the greater Phoenix area have come together to ensure at-risk children achieve a brighter future by giving children access to preventive health services.
The role of Maricopa County Medical Society
Since the ACT Health Fair’s inception, MCMS has worked to enlist and organize its physician, student, fellow and resident members to volunteer, and each year our physicians have answered the call to help by enthusiastically participating in this wonderful community event. Many volunteers return year after year with the goal of giving back to the communities they serve and emphasizing the importance of regular health screenings and immunizations.
Booths are staffed by resident and medical students performing the exams with seasoned physicians giving guidance and supervision. This mentorship and hands-on experience has been a huge hit with the medical students, as well as our physicians as they can pass on their wisdom and be involved in the teaching process, all while giving of their skills to the children. It is not necessary to be a primary care physician or pediatrician – all specialties are welcome.
Physician’s Role - Some portions of the exam can only be performed under the supervision of a physician. Physicians are assigned an exam area and an assistant. All paperwork and releases are collected beforehand by the Head Start staff so that the physician can concentrate on what they do best – treating the patient. Physical Exams include: Head, neck, cardio, pulmonary, spine, abdomen and history. All diagnosis and treatments on all physical exams are printed on the physical forms. Physicians ONLY sign off on the physical portion of the form. A note is made on the form if the child needs further NON-emergency medical attention and Head Start will follow up. Two physicians are assigned to be “Super Docs” for emergency attention and prescriptions.
Medical Students are assigned to perform height, weight and blood pressure checks. Some students form “study groups” to observe the physicians “in action”; others may be assigned to shadow a physician if there are enough volunteers.
Residents are automatically assigned to a physician to assist with screenings and other services, and may be assigned to perform height, weight and blood pressure checks. Second year (and beyond) residents can provide a physical with no supervising physician.
All volunteers are welcome, especially those who are bilingual in English/Spanish.