September is National Literacy Month ~ Promote Well Checks and Literacy Through Teddy Bear Clinics
CLEVELAND, OH — Going to the doctor is good for a child’s health, and it can be good for early literacy, too. In honor of National Literacy Month, Buckeye Health Plan is kicking off its year-long partnership with Reach out and Read, a nonprofit organization that incorporates books into pediatric care to give young children a foundation for success.
Thirty-seven percent of Ohio kindergarteners are not on track at the beginning of the school year in language and literacy.1 This partnership aims to change that. Throughout September, more than 4,500 books will be distributed to children at pediatric clinics statewide to encourage families to read aloud together.
The partnership will kick off on September 9, National Teddy Bear Day, with “Little Bear Healthy Clinics.” During these clinics, Buckeye will give away books about going to the doctor and guide children through a Teddy Bear “checkup.” Parents will receive early literacy and milestone tips and resources.
“We’re creating a friendly and interactive experience aimed at encouraging child well visits,” said Dr. Cheryl Morrow-White, Buckeye Health Plan Medical Director. “We will have stations that young children can take their teddy bears through to get a checkup. This can help decrease their fears and make them more comfortable and confident about visiting the doctor.”
What: Little Bear Healthy Clinic
Teddy Bear “checkup” stations
Where: MetroHealth Medical Center, Pediatric Primary Care Clinic
1st floor- Women and Children’s Outpatient Pavilion 2500 MetroHealth Dr., Cleveland, Ohio 44109
When: September 9 from 10 a.m. to noon
About Buckeye Health Plan (www.buckeyehealthplan.com)
Buckeye Health Plan is a leading multi-line health plan offering managed health care for Ohioans on Medicaid, Medicare, MyCare, and the Health Insurance Exchange. Since 2004, Buckeye has been dedicated to improving the health of Ohioans, many with low incomes, and transforming the health of the community, one person at a time. Follow Buckeye on Twitter @Buckeye_Health and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BuckeyeHealthPlan. Buckeye is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise offering both core Medicaid and specialty services.
About Reach Out and Read (www.reachoutandread.org) Reach Out and Read is a national, non-profit organization that promotes and gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.
Reach Out and Read was founded at Boston City Hospital (now Boston Medical Center) in 1989 by pediatricians Robert Needlman and Barry Zuckerman. Nationally, the program reaches nearly 5 million children with 1 in 4 from low-income families, supported by more than 6,200 sites and 32,000 providers. The Reach Out and Read National Center provides training and technical assistance to its programs throughout the country. The Reach Out and Read model is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the program has one of the strongest records of research of any primary care intervention with 16 peer-reviewed studies that support its efficacy; a policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics has identified literacy promotion as an essential component of primary care.
Reach Out and Read Ohio is an affiliate of the national center. Participating Ohio medical offices serve 153,000 children annually and distribute 263,000 books and doses of literacy guidance to families annually.
The MetroHealth System, Cuyahoga County’s public health system, provides care at MetroHealth’s four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. In the past year, MetroHealth has served 300,000 patients at more than 1.4 million visits in its hospitals
and health centers, 75 percent of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
The health system is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and one of two adult and pediatric burn centers in the state of Ohio.
As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to teaching and research. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and its main campus hospital houses a Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school of science and health. For more information, visit metrohealth.org.