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Organization promotes healthy kids

As Hoosier parents and children prepare for a new school year, the Covering Kids and Families of Indiana program is kicking off its back to school campaign.  The initiative aims to encourage families to seek health coverage for their children.

Covering Kids and Families of Indiana is supported by several state agencies and community organizations, such as the Family and Social Services Administration, the Department of Education and the Indiana School Health Network.  Its back to school campaign features events around the state in the coming weeks, including physicals, dental screenings and immunizations at local health fairs and county fairgrounds.

Medicaid Deputy Director Kristina Moorhead encourages parents and families to find out if they’re eligible to receive health coverage through state or federal programs.  And she says she wants to highlight the most common chronic disease among children that often gets overlooked.

“This disease isn’t asthma, obesity or diabetes.  It’s tooth decay and it’s impacting 60 percent of the children in the United States.”

Moorhead says ignoring or skipping dental care can lead children to miss time in school.  East Chicago school superintendent Michael Harding says healthier kids make better students:

“I can tell you firsthand that we can’t teach, students will not learn if their basic services and basic needs are not met.”

Harding says it’s important not just for schools but for whole communities to focus on providing children with health care.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.