Local health agencies team-up for High School Health Week

Published 9:29 pm Monday, July 31, 2017

This week is High School Health Week, and the Rural Health Medical Program, Inc. has partnered with Selma AIR, Beverly and Associates and the Dallas County Office of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System “to offer support to student-athletes across West-Central Alabama.”

“High School Health Week is an extraordinary opportunity for student-athletes across the Black Belt to come in and not just receive low-cost, high-quality health examinations that will qualify them to participate but to also gain information that is relevant to their lifestyle as a student-athlete,” Selma AIR public relations director and HIV prevention specialist Lydia Chatmon said.

The health week began as a program for high school students, but the demand for information caused them to expand.

Through Friday, Aug. 4, the local agencies will work together to provide resources and information for middle school, high school and collegiate student-athletes.

The RHMP program will provide full athletic physicals for $15 per student-athlete.

“Rural Health Medical Program is proud to take part in High School Health Week because we see it as an opportunity for us to offer valuable resources to student-athletes and provide much needed support to the young people who inspire so much hope in communities across Dallas, Perry, Wilcox, Marengo, and Monroe counties,” Rural Health Chief Executive Officer Keshee Dozier-Smith said.

The health agencies have extended their invitation to all of the schools in the Selma/Dallas County area.

The students of the schools that choose to participate will be able to hear from experts who can provide counsel on nutrition, time management, collegiate eligibility, conflict resolution injury avoidance and HIV/AIDS prevention.

“This is really a way for our agencies to band together and support student-athletes,” Chatmon said. “The more we support our student-athletes is also supporting our community. We can really get behind teams that are successful and having great health is a part of that success.”

Beverly and Associates specializes in assisting student-athletes, parents and school districts with understanding college eligibility rules, according to senior associate Denisha Hendricks.

“We are pleased to have an opportunity to offer advice to the young people in Selma and surrounding areas,” she said.

The eligibility discussions will take place in the auditorium at the RHMP central office on 713 J.L. Chestnut Blvd., in Selma. The physicals will take place during and after the information sessions.

The goal is to provide information for the student-athletes that they can apply to their lives as they move on to the next level of their education.

“We will provide practical information to student-athletes to help them make better choices,” Chatmon said. “Our choices dictate who we are, and who we become.”

Selma High School, Keith Middle-High School and Concordia College have already committed to participating, and the agencies are hoping that more Dallas County area schools choose to get involved as well.

“The information is getting out there,” Chatmon said. “We are looking forward to having those young people ask the questions they need to ask.”