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Sixth Annual Kids Mini Med School Brings Medical Knowledge to Children In West Baltimore

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

 Dr. Debra Counts playing medical "Jeopardy" with the campers.

More than 50 children between the ages of five and 15 will get a taste of medical school throughout July and August as the University of Maryland School of Medicine holds its sixth annual Mini-Med School for Kids. Mini Med School for Kids is a program in which School of Medicine doctors visit the Salvation Army's Franklin Square Boys & Girls Club summer camp in West Baltimore to speak with the campers about various subjects related to their health and well-being. The first session was July 3.

Mini-Med School for Kids targets children from underserved neighborhoods near the School of Medicine, in hopes of instilling in them key messages about relevant health and lifestyle issues. The School of Medicine believes that by reaching these children while they are still young and healthy, they will learn how to take better care of themselves now and throughout their lives, making smarter health and lifestyle choices and encouraging others in their families to do the same.

Debra Counts, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, was the first week's presenter. She spoke with the campers about the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes; how to recognize the symptoms of diabetes and get treated; and the importance of making better food and exercise choices in order to avoid becoming diabetic. Then she played a spirited game of "Jeopardy" with the campers to see how much of the information they had retained.

Mini Med School for Kids will run every Wednesday morning through August 7. Additional topics are: Pedestrian Safety & Injury Prevention (Richard Lickenstein, MD, Professor, Department of Pediatrics); Making Healthy Food Choices (Erin Hager, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics); The Importance of Staying Physically Fit (Roy Film, PT, MPT, DPT, Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science); Keeping Your Heart Healthy (Carissa Baker-Smith, MD, MS, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics) and Preventing Kidney Disease (Matthew Weir, MD, Professor, Department of Medicine).

The final session will bring the campers to campus, where they will have a graduation ceremony with 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.

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