Dr. Seuss, The Berenstein Bears and Curious George are all common names at the Osborn Family Health Center. No, they are not the names of our patients, but the names of the many books that fill the center’s waiting and examination rooms as part of the Reach Out and Read Program, a literacy program geared towards children between the ages of six months to five years old.
For Mrs. Brown, Osborn and the Reach Out and Read Program are an integral part of her family’s history. Mrs. Brown has been a patient at Osborn since she was a baby. Today, as the mother of five children, Mrs. Brown often found it challenging to keep her appointments for her children’s immunizations and well-child visits. Her children hated getting their shots and were often afraid to see the doctor.
“One day my middle child was offered a free book through the Reach Out and Read Program by his doctor,” said Mrs. Brown. “It was the first new book to enter our home and it has since been shared by all five children. Now my son asks when his next shot visit is scheduled so he can get a new book.”
The Reach Out and Read Program is designed to encourage routine visits by making the experience fun….or at least a little easier The program, endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, trains doctors and nurses to instruct parents on reading. Children are offered a free, brand new, developmentally and culturally appropriate children’s book to take home after every immunization or well-child visit. By the time the child starts school they will have a home library of at least ten new children’s books.
“All of the books in our home have come from the Reach Out and Read Program at Osborn,” said Mrs. Brown. “When my son entered kindergarten and was asked to bring in a book to share with the class, he was so proud to have a favorite book from the Reach Out and Read Program.” Mrs. Brown explains that she would not take her babies anywhere else for care but Osborn “I feel safe at Lourdes, they treat me with compassion,”
The Osborn Family Health Center has served nearly a million people since it opened its doors 30 years ago. Located directly across the street from the hospital in a state-of-the-art medical facility it provides a variety of primary health services including family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, high-risk obstetrics, pediatrics and outpatient lab testing among other services.