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WASHINGTON STATE PHYSICIANS HIT THE CLASSROOM ON 'DOCTOR'S DAY'

 WASHINGTON STATE PHYSICIANS HIT THE CLASSROOM ON 'DOCTOR'S DAY'
 SEATTLE, March 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA):
 It's back to number two pencils, pop quizzes and chalkboards for Washington state physicians on Monday, March 30, as they celebrate national Doctor's Day in unique fashion -- by going back to grade school.
 Physicians of the Washington State Medical Association wanted to commemorate the national observance of Doctor's Day by giving something back to their local communities.
 "It's always fun working to educate children. They can understand as well as any adult that good health equates with a happy life," said Lauren Barron, M.D., a Seattle emergency physician and chairman of the medical association's public education committee. "But the rationale behind Doctor's Day is serious as well.
 "Healthy children are the best investment we can make in the future of our communities. If the current trend toward out-of-shape children persists, they will not live as productive lives as they could," Barron said. "And when unhealthy children become unhealthy adults, this puts a great and unnecessary burden on the health care system."
 On March 30, more than 80 physicians around the state, from Bellingham to Walla Walla, will make presentations to fourth and fifth graders about the importance of healthy lifestyles and how to keep their hearts healthy.
 Barron estimates that as many as 10,000 students will hear this message of good health from participating physicians.
 In addition to basic information on how the heart works, students will be given tips on what they can do now to prevent heart disease and illness when they are older.
 Some tips include: not smoking; what aerobic exercise is and why it's good for the heart; and cutting back on foods that are high in cholesterol, fat and salt.
 "Most of the information we'll be giving to the kids will just be common sense. But if it's coming from a doctor and children can actually see how a blood pressure cuff works, hear their own heartbeat through a stethoscope, and then receive the information, we think we'll make an impact," said Barron.
 The presentation has been developed with the assistance of the Washington Chapter of the American Heart Assocation and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction's office -- which helped identify participating schools. Physicians will distribute leave-behind materials and stickers for the students. Individual presentations are expected to last approximately 30 minutes and will be made to groups as few as 20 students to as many as 150.
 "When we began development of this program last year, we wanted to do something for children to help instill in them a sense of responsibility in their own health and well-being. We think the grade school component of Doctor's Day meets this need," said Barron.
 The Washington State Medical Association represents more than 7,200 of the state's physicians.
 -0- 3/27/92
 /CONTACT: Mike Brennan of Delauney Phillips, 206-340-6138, for Washington State Medical Association/ CO: Washington State Medical Association ST: Washington IN: HEA SU:


SM-JH -- SE007 -- 2594 03/27/92 19:37 EST
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Date:Mar 27, 1992
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