Raleigh YMCA camp features health screenings along with outdoor play
Posted July 10, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Thousands of children in North Carolina lack access to quality health care, so the YMCA of the Triangle is trying to change that.
The YMCA, WakeMed and Saint Augustine's University have teamed up for Healthy Communities Day to reach out to children of low-income families during summer camp.
More than 800 children attending the YMCA's fully subsidized Camp High Hopes were screened from head to toe Thursday.
"It's pretty awesome," camper Javontae Minor said. "It's almost like going to the doctor."
The free clinic was started six years ago after YMCA and WakeMed officials determined too many children were going without yearly physicals.
"We feel like we've got it down to a science," said Linda Barrett, manager of corporate and community health for WakeMed. "Any kids identified as needing follow-up, we make sure they're followed up with by a physician or a dentist."
Barrett said the screenings have found children with scoliosis or dental problems that were later corrected.
It might not be a typical day at camp, but organizers say the end goal is to have hundreds of happy campers for years to come.
"We want to empower these kids to build healthy habits for life," said Dexter Hebert, associate executive director of the Southeast Raleigh YMCA. "What we want to do is plant the seed early enough so they can at least be conscious of it as they get older."