BCU, Community Action Team Up for Preschool Health Screenings

BCU and Community Action are offering free health screenings until Aug. 15 for qualifying children enrolled in the Head Start preschool program.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Center for Health Care Initiatives at Briar Cliff University and the Community Action Agency of Siouxland recently partnered to offer free health screenings for preschoolers in the Head Start program.

The screenings took place at Community Action, located at 2711 S. Helen Street in Sioux City. 

The screenings were for children who do not have an established primary care provider or who lack funds and meet these Head Start enrollment criteria: children ages 3 through 5 and enrolled in Head Start, and children ages newborn through 3 who will register in Early Head Start. During a seven-day designated exam period from July 30 through Aug. 15, over 400 children were screened.

The collaboration also provided Briar Cliff students valuable hands-on learning experiences. Under the direction of Briar Cliff nursing faculty, undergraduate nursing students conducted blood pressure, height, weight and blood tests, along with other routine procedures. Graduate students in Briar Cliff’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program performed physicals. In addition, BCU provided Community Action with supplies for hemoglobin and lead tests.

“Briar Cliff’s involvement expands our ability to screen more kids and have more test times before school starts,” said Jean Logan, Community Action executive director. “Transportation can be a barrier for families, so this creates one convenient place for parents to meet our staff, register their preschoolers and have them tested,” Logan explained.

“The cost and access to health care is troublesome for some populations and areas in Siouxland,” said Dr. Ted Wilson, CHCI director, associate professor of biology and chair of the division of natural and mathematical sciences at BCU. “To help remedy this, the Briar Cliff Center for Health Care Initiatives is developing partnerships with local hospitals, clinics and service organizations to help expand their services by providing needed vaccinations, flu shots, health care screenings and more, especially for single parents and families who may be homeless or simply can't afford health care.”

The Head Start and Early Head Start programs serve a diverse population of low-income families and children by providing activities that support their social, academic and physical development. For more information about Head Start registration and preschool health exams, call Community Action at 274-1610.

Briar Cliff University is a Catholic institution with an enrollment of more than 1,100 students from 31 states and 11 countries. Students are educated in the Franciscan tradition of excellence in the liberal arts and career preparation in an environment of care, compassion and service.

Tags: Academics, Nursing, CHCI

preschool, health care, nursing, medical exams, physicals