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College of Nursing Launches "Caring for Kids Where They Live"

Lorna Butler, Ph.D. today announced the official launch of ‘Caring for Kids Where They Live', a unique program that brings students in the health professions to schools in some of Saskatoon's core neighbourhoods.

"It is a perfect scenario of complementing needs. On the one hand, educators across Canada are increasingly challenged to find learning opportunities for students in the health professions. On the other hand, kids in low-income neighbourhoods have special health concerns and often lack access to health services," said Butler.

The Caring for Kids Where They Live program's goal is to create an interprofessional pediatric clinical learning environment within the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools division. Two schools have been
selected: E.D. Feehan Catholic High School and St Frances Elementary School. The program will involve students from the colleges of Nursing, Dentistry and Kinesiology.

The program is supported by a $10,000 grant from the Workforce Planning Branch of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health

Over the last year the College of Nursing has developed a relationship with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools to learn about the needs of children and youth within the schools, particularly within Saskatoon's core areas. Some of the needs indentified were lack of access to health care services (nursing, dentistry) and organized physical activity.

Caring for Kids where they live will promote a supportive school environment focused on motivating students to make positive lifestyle choices. This multidisciplinary approach will work to reduce health behaviours such as smoking and inactivity which can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and obesity.

"This is a great opportunity for everyone involved. It could have an effect on our whole community. When kids are well, they study better, make healthier choices and have more opportunities," said Sheila Chad, principal of E.D. Feehan Catholic High School.

"At the same time, the education opportunities for the health care students mean our province as a whole will graduate more and better-educated health care providers," said Butler.

For further information, contact Dean Lorna Butler, 306-966-6223 OR Sheila Chad, 306-659-7550.

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