Community Health and Panhandle Shrine Club Team Up to Offer Free Books to Patients
SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb., ― Because the staff at Regional West Community Health believes reading is as important as staying healthy, they’ve gone the extra mile to provide free books for children when they get vaccinations.
“We work closely with many families throughout the county that don’t have the money to buy books for their children, so when I learned of an organization that provides free books for infants to teens, I decided this was a special benefit we could offer our pediatric patients,” said Community Health Director Paulette Schnell, RN, MSN.
For the second year in a row, Community Health is giving a free book to every child and student age 18 and under that receives a vaccination at the weekly Immunization Clinic.
The program has been welcomed by children and their families.
“One child was afraid to go into the exam room for her vaccination, so we let her choose a book and a staff member read to her. She was so interested in hearing the story that she didn’t even know she got the shot,” said Teresa Thomas, RN, BSN, Community Health immunization clinic coordinator.
Although the books are free, the department was required to pay the cost of shipping them to Scottsbluff. This year, they found a partner that was happy to cover the shipping costs for them.
The Panhandle Shrine Club offered to pay the shipping expense through a fund established by the Baltes family for the benefit of children. The $1,000 contribution will cover the cost of shipping hundreds of books that will be given away throughout the year.
The Immunization Clinic is held on the first, second, and third Tuesdays of the month from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Regional West Community Health office, St. Mary Plaza, 3700 Avenue B, Scottsbluff. To schedule an appointment, call 308-630-1580. No child will be turned away due to inability to pay.
Regional West Health Services in Scottsbluff, Neb., is the parent company of Regional West Medical Center, a 188-bed regional referral center and one of three Level II Trauma Centers in the state. As the region’s only tertiary referral medical center, Regional West offers care that spans more than 32 medical specialties provided by over 28 physician clinics. With nearly 300 in-network providers, and 2,000 employees, Regional West provides comprehensive and innovative health care services for the people of western Nebraska and the neighboring states of Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming.