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Annual Mini Med School for Kids Takes Health Education to the Children of West Baltimore

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

 Dr. Yvette Rooks makes a point about nutrition at last year's Kids Mini Med.

More than 60 children between the ages of 5 and 16 will get a taste of medical school throughout July and August when the University of Maryland School of Medicine holds its fourth annual Mini-Med School for Kids at the Salvation Army's Franklin Square Boys & Girls Club summer camp in West Baltimore.

"Mini-Med School for Kids targets children from our underserved community in hopes of delivering key messages about important, and very relevant, health and lifestyle issues," explains Heather Graham Phelps, Manager of Public Relations in the School of Medicine's Office of Public Affairs. "It’s our intent to reach these kids while they are still young and healthy in order to instill valuable information about taking care of their bodies and making smarter health and lifestyle choices."

Things kicked off July 6 with a presentation by Vivienne A. Rose, M.D., assistant professor, Department of Family & Community Medicine, on childhood obesity. Dr. Rose described the consequences of obesity, including diabetes and high blood pressure. She reviewed the food pyramid with the children, discussing healthy eating — small portions of treats such as cakes and cookies, and large portions of veggies and fruits. She also reviewed the importance of exercise, engaging the kids to line up and play with a bouncy ball.

Mini-Med School for Kids will continue each Wednesday until August 3, 2010. Additional topics are: Physical, Mental and Emotional Domestic Abuse, presented by Leigh Vinocur, M.D., clinical assistant professor, Department of Emergency Medicine; Bullying & Peer Pressure, presented by Yvette L. Rooks, M.D., assistant professor, Department of Family & Community Medicine; Heart Health, presented by Shawn Robinson, M.D., assistant professor, Department of Medicine; and Healing Broken Bones and Bone Health, presented by Oliver Tannous, MD, a resident at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

The final session will bring the campers to campus, where Ronald S. Wade, director, Anatomical Services Division, will provide a lesson in anatomy and share specimens with the children. Then E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice President of Medical Affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean of the School of Medicine, will preside over graduation ceremonies.

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