This March, the faculty, staff, and students at the Port Huron, Michigan campus of Ross Medical Education Center participated in the 27th Annual Children’s Fun and Fitness Festival at McLaren Port Huron Hospital. This the fifth year that the staff and faculty have volunteered their time for the educational event and the first year that students from the Medical Assistant program and Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration program have assisted in the festivities. The festival is a fun way to familiarize children with the hospital setting. Many interactive stations are set up for children to participate in during the free event which is open to the public.
The Port Huron campus hosted Kelly DiNardo, RN Community Education & Outreach Coordinator at McLaren Port Huron Hospital, to speak to students about the event. Kelly shared information about her role at the hospital and what visitors could expect when attending the festival. Kelly explained that the hospital welcomes children and their families to the hospital for the event in an effort to reduce the stress of future hospital visits. Kelly shared that when faced with a medical emergency they want children to feel comfortable in the hospital and know that the staff is there to help them feel better. Kelly stated that they also aim to promote healthy habits for children in the community.
During one of the fun activities that was available this year, children were able to dress up as operators and experience the DaVinci, a robot used to assist with surgeries. In addition, the hospital created a life size game of Operation for the children to play. The Emergency Room department also provided ambulance tours for children and their families. Nurses from the hospital assisted children with bandaging “wounded” teddy bears and K-9 companion dogs were also on site for children to meet.
The Port Huron campus had an interactive, educational table at the event that focused on educating the children on the importance of heart health. The instructors used stethoscopes to allow the children to hear their own heartbeat. The campus staff facilitated a heart-shaped ring toss game and student volunteers interacted with the children by explaining where the heart is located by using a life-size heart model. Many children experienced hearing their heartbeat for the first time and they especially enjoyed exploring the life-size heart model with Ross students.
Nicole Semrow, Financial Aid Student Support Representative, was present during the event and commented that “it is so wonderful to see so many families from the community come to the hospital and experience this event and all that it has to offer.” Students from the campus also brought their families to the event and noted that it was very educational to see the DaVinci robot in action. The Port Huron campus takes great pleasure in being a part of this special event at McLaren Port Huron every year and plans to continue to support the event in years to come.