SPOKANE, Wash. — The Intercollegiate College of Nursing/Washington State University College of Nursing nurse professionals will participate in the first “Kick Off to Summer Fun” health event June 6.

The event will be from 4-6 p.m. at Logan Elementary School, 1001 E. Montgomery Ave.

The ICN/WSU College of Nursing will join the Spokane Ronald McDonald Care Mobile and the Spokane Police Department, Spokane Fire Department, Spokane Corvette Club and McGruff the Crime Dog to push summer fun and healthy habits into high gear.

As the weather heats up, children begin to think about summer fun and parents begin to think about how to keep their kids active and healthy throughout the summer months, organizers said.

Kick Off to Summer Fun offers students, families and the public safety tips, including bicycle riding and the importance of wearing helmets, presented by the SPD and Spoke ‘n Sport; summer safety tips from the SFD; and summer health tips from the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile and nursing professionals.

“The purpose of the event is to invite students and families to access the comprehensive primary care services available through the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile,” said Melissa Elkins, Care Mobile coordinator. “Having the Care Mobile at the schools will help to remind everyone to be safe and active during the summer break months.”

Event participants will have the opportunity to pick up a limited supply of summer fun items, including bottled water, sun block, Band-Aids, bike helmets, baseball caps, knee and elbow pads, and lip balm.

The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile is a fully equipped mobile pediatric health care unit that delivers medical and dental care directly to underserved children in their own neighborhoods regardless of their ability to pay. The ICN/WSU College of Nursing and Inland Northwest Health Services operate the mobile unit with support from Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The Care Mobile, staffed by nurse practitioners from the College of Nursing, offers treatment for minor emergencies, well-child exams, sports physicals, hearing and vision screening, immunizations and follow-up care. Dental screening and fluoride varnishing is also provided by a dental hygienist. Patients with medical needs outside the scope of services mentioned are referred to local health care providers.

The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile will be at the Shadle McDonald Restaurant and other area schools throughout the summer months promoting safety and healthy activities. “We’ll also be offering health services at each of the six middle school Hub Fest events sponsored by Spokane School District during July and August,” said Elkins. A complete schedule of events is listed at spokanecaremobile.org.

There are approximately 10,000 children in Spokane County who don’t have health insurance. The lack of health insurance prevents many children from receiving needed preventative health care and dental services. Going directly to where children are, in their neighborhoods, increases the access families have to quality and consistent health care services.

“Access to health care continues to be a chronic problem for many families in our community,” said Dr. Kennard Kapstafer, a local pediatrician and Care Mobile Task Force member. “When we bring the basic services to them in their schools and neighborhoods we remove a significant barrier. When we can provide preventative health care we end up with much healthier kids and greater academic achievements.”

As a collaborative community project, initial funding for the Care Mobile came from a variety of sources. Since launching the Spokane Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in September 2002, hundreds of local children have been treated for health issues. The need for health care services for the growing number of uninsured children and families continues to rise, and on-going sources of funding are needed to sustain the level of services currently provided. To contribute financially and learn more about the Spokane Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, visit the Web site at www.spokanecaremobile.org.

Established in 1968, the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing is the nation’s first, oldest and most comprehensive nursing education consortium. The College of Nursing offers baccalaureate, graduate and professional development course work to nursing students enrolled through its four consortium partners, Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, Washington State University and Whitworth College. Each year, the college educates more than 600 graduate and upper-division undergraduate students and prepares more entry-level nurses than any other educational institution in the state. For more information about the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing, visit the college Web site at nursing.wsu.edu.