By Geneva Castro’Lichtenstein
State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park was a special visitor at Kualapu`u Public Conversion Charter School Thursday while kicking off the 2013-14 school year flu shots.
Along with Dr. Park were Molokai Lions Club volunteers, Hawaii Department of Health volunteers and school volunteers helping with the annual shots. Students received both shots and nasal sprays while Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Melissa Viray looked on. The two doctors visited Molokai to “see with our own eyes” how the process was going, said Dr. Viray.
As children lined up with parent permission slips discussing which vaccination to get — shot or nasal spray — the two doctors and their entourage of three assistants walked around the vaccination area. Volunteers were questioned about the flu shot process and how the students were handling everything.
The visit to Kualapu`u Elementary was part of the Department of Health’s emphasis on “healthy kids and, more important, a healthy community,” said Dr. Park. A pediatrician, Dr. Park, stopped and asked students how they felt and if they were OK when some looked like they were not feeling well.
Today we are “going where the action is,” stated Dr. Viray as children sat around her in the 15-minute post vaccination area. Kualapu`u Public Conversion Charter is the only school the state’s top two epidemiologists planned to visit on their itinerary.
The low-key visit was a welcomed surprise as well as a picture opportunity for the school’s newsletter.