MARION -- If you haven't already done so, now is the time to schedule back-to-school and sports physicals.
This year, like always, students must have a physical examination and all required immunizations before starting school. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, health care providers are following stringent protocols to keep clinics safe for your family.
Heartland Regional Medical Center physician Jodi Bryant explains what is different and what can be expected with these appointments.
"Seeing your child in-person helps determine problems early-on," said Bryant. "For children and adolescents, we remain focused on growth, development, and well-being -- including emotional well-being. For example, COVID-19 might be causing your child to feel anxious, stressed or depressed. Your child's doctor will be able to do a basic check of your child's mental health during a physical or well-child check."
Bryant points out that while it's understandable for families to be anxious; your doctor's office is open, safe and ready.
"We've spent a lot of time working on safety and cleanliness in our clinics," Bryant said, "especially for cleaning procedures."
According to Bryant, Heartland Regional Medical Center and its affiliated clinics utilize CDC-recommended infection prevention protocols, including extra time between patients to clean rooms, top to bottom.
Also, all team members wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks. For those in direct contact with you or your children, it also involves eye protection such as a face shield.
In addition to school physicals, Heartland Regional will also offer sports physicals for the 2020-2021 school year at select Southern Illinois high schools to make sure athletes can safely play. Heartland Regional Medical Group -- Family Medicine providers, will be on-site at the following locations to conduct the physicals:
July 16: Goreville High School, 3-6 p.m.
July 21: Crab Orchard High School, 3-6 p.m.
July 31: Marion High School, noon-3 p.m.
The cost is $10 per athlete, and all proceeds go back to support the school. More information is available on HeartlandAnytime.com.