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New Provo wellness program aims to benefit students in low-income households

By Curtis Booker - | Apr 13, 2024
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Dr. Norman Wright, president and CEO of the Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine, holds a $25,000 check for the launch of Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi's new wellness outreach program, held outside of Timpanogos Elementary School on Tuesday, April 9, 2024.
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Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi speaks to a crowd outside Timpanogos Elementary School about the launch of a new wellness outreach program called Kaufusi's Keiki's on Tuesday, April 9, 2024
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A check for $25,000 from the Provo Advantage Pro Am, made out to the Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine to launch the new Kaufusi's Keiki's wellness outreach program, is displayed outside Timpanogos Elementary School on Tuesday, April 9, 2024.

Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi, who grew up in a single-parent household as a child, dependent on community resources, says she understands what it takes to overcome adversity and financial challenges.

Because of that, she says she is dedicated to the well-being of  Provo’s school-aged children.

On Tuesday, Kaufusi announced the start of her new initiative “Kaufusi’s Keikis.”

Keiki is the Hawaiian translation for the word child.

It’s all part of a partnership between the Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Provo City School District. The program will provide elementary-aged children in Provo with the opportunity to receive free, annual, opt-in health screenings, promoted as especially beneficial for low-income and under-resourced communities.

“This is personal to me because I was that ‘free reduced lunch kid’ being raised by a single mom with seven kids. We were always in survival mode as a family, so my success would not have been possible without a caring community who stepped in to make a difference,” Kaufusi said in a press release. “Kaufusi’s Keikis is another example of our caring community coming together for the health of our children. I can’t think of a more important cause than addressing health disparities and promoting health equity.”

The launch kicked off with a $25,000 donation from The Provo Open outside of Timpanogos Elementary School.

The funds were raised via the Provo Advantage 2023 Pro Ams. The golf event will benefit Kaufusi’s Keikis again via upcoming competitions on June 24-25.

“For my service in the community, I was looking for the kid that was like me as a child, that was underserved, trying to blend in, didn’t want to stand out,” Kaufusi said during Tuesday’s launch event.

“Kaufusi’s Keikis” health screening stations will take vital signs; check for issues with a child’s ears, nose and throat; and provide basic dental and vision care.

“We all know that you have better health outcomes if you can catch things early. And so with these little kids, that’s about as early as you can get,” said Dr. Norman Wright, Noorda College president and CEO.

Provo School District officials are excited for the opportunity to have their students afforded with access to preventative care.

“Our families and our students need to access resources outside of just what’s happening in the classroom,” school board member Meg Van Wagenen said. “And I think this is a wonderful opportunity to really partner together for the betterment of our students and their families.”

The first opt-in health screening opportunity happens at 7 p.m May 1 at Timpanogos Elementary, a Title I school.

Officials with Noorda College say they will take a “phased approach” in rolling out the program. The ultimate goal is to hold four health screenings a year throughout the Provo School District.


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