Claremont Schools Eye Free Health Care

Claremont school officials and the League of Women Voters are hoping to duplicate a Pasadena health program that uses the skills of volunteer health professionals to meet the medical needs of elementary school students whose parents lack health insurance.

Kathy Hacker, school district volunteer coordinator, said the district is surveying the needs of students in its summer program and will continue studies in the fall with an eye toward beginning a pilot program in elementary schools in the spring. The league is funding the survey.

Under the program, known as Young and Healthy in Pasadena, school nurses identify children without insurance who need medical care.

The nurses contact a district coordinator who refers the child to a doctor or other health-care provider and arranges transportation, free prescriptions and translation if necessary.

Pasadena's 187 volunteer health care providers include physicians, dentists, optometrists, pediatricians and mental health professionals who fit the children into their normal business days. The program made 1,206 appointments last school year.

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