Health First Network Participates in Book-Signing Event at Local Elementary School

April 24, 2008

Montclair Elementary School was the place to be on Wednesday morning, April 23, 2008, for the roll-out and book-signing event of a children's health book written by local author John Appleyard. The book has been distributed to every 4th grade student in Escambia County.

Annually, Mr. John Appleyard writes a book for the students of Escambia County Schools to promote reading and provide information to children. Fourth grade elementary school teachers use these books as a teaching tool and include the reading of the book in class as part of their April curriculum. Some of these books have featured stories about the history of Pensacola. Others have featured stories about people in their community. For the past two years, Mr. John Appleyard has written about Children's Health and Wellness Issues. Health First Network has sponsored the printing of these books for the past two years, and has assisted in a "roll-out/book-signing" event and health fair program at selected schools to begin the book distribution.

At the roll-out event, the characters in the book "come alive" and the students make rounds at the various stations where health care professionals, dressed as characters in the book, interact with the children and discuss various health-care related topics that are covered in the book.

This year's book was titled, "Going to the Hospital". The actual setting for the book was at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital. The book provided the children with information and a first hand look at what might happen if they required admission to the hospital, to relieve their fears of what could be an otherwise frightening experience for them.

Montclair Elementary School Principal, Ms. Sandra Rush-Riley, and her staff hosted this media event. The children were able to see and touch an ambulance with "state-of-the-art" medical equipment and have paramedics explain what equipment might be used during an emergency run to the hospital with a pediatric patient. The school conference center was set up as a "mock" ER department with an admissions nurse and each student getting an ID bracelet. Sacred Heart Hospital staff including a phlebotomist, respiratory therapists and nurses were there to explain admission processes and procedures that might be done while a pediatric patient is admitted. Health First Network Physicians, Dr. William Whibbs and Dr. Raina Alexander along with other Health First Network staff participated in the event.

Dr. Raina Alexander "acted the part" of the practicing physician in the book. She was a great role model for the children, actively talking to numerous groups of students about what they could expect if their physician came to see them in the hospital. She engaged the students in discussions on how to talk to their doctor about their co

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