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First S.I. Children’s Health Conference Scheduled for Nov. 1-3 on JALC Campus

Playing doctor in the dramatic play area at the JALC children’s lab are patient, Dani Kay Marks, and doctors, Savannah Gibbs and Greycin Borrenpohl. A first-ever Southern Illinois children’s health conference is set for early next month on the JALC campus. (Photo provided)

Playing doctor in the dramatic play area at the JALC children’s lab are patient, Dani Kay Marks, and doctors, Savannah Gibbs and Greycin Borrenpohl. A first-ever Southern Illinois children’s health conference is set for early next month on the JALC campus. (Photo provided)

Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – A first-ever three-day health conference about children on the John A. Logan College campus, entitled, “Healthy Children, Brighter Futures,” will be conducted early next month, Nov. 1-3. The premise of the conference is that healthy children are better learners and ultimately more successful.

The conference is presented by the Southern Coalition for Children and Families and supported by Child Care Resource and Referral Center at JALC; Illinois Action for Children, Southern Illinois Healthcare, First Southern Bank and other local agencies.

Event coordinator Missy Brown, who also serves as director consultant and co-training coordinator with CCR&R at Logan, said the final touches are being made to ensure a successful conference.

The conference consists of three days of events, including a forum focusing on policy, systems and environmental change in healthcare with two days of breakout sessions focusing on children’s health.

On Thursday, Nov. 1, a forum, set to begin at 7 p.m., is geared to community, health and education leaders, who care about children’s health at the Dr. Robert L. Mees Historical Village on the JALC campus. Keynote speaker will be Miriam Link-Mullison from the Jackson County Health Department.

Panelists are: Diane Land, Community Health Coordinator at Southern Illinois Healthcare, speaking on the dental health referral system; Casey Carlile of Project Connect discussing primary care and behavioral healthcare; and Robert Wesley from the SIU School of Medicine, who serves on the southern leadership team for the Illinois Department of Public Health Initiative – “We Choose Health.”

The forum will be facilitated by Linda Baker with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

On Friday, Nov. 2, the conference will be geared toward professionals providing health prevention on intervention support to children and families at JALC.

Keynote speaker is Jason Kotecki. He will present a program, “Escape Adulthood: Living and Working with Less Stress and More Fun.” By masterfully combining hilarious anecdotes, uplifting stories and powerful imagery, Kotecki shares witty observations and real-world techniques that will both entertain and inspire adults to get more done while having more fun; reignite passion and optimism; lead a richer and more balanced life; and learn easy tips on how to melt away built-up stress and fatigue.

Breakout sessions include: “A Healthcare Provider’s Toolkit for Prevention, Assessment, and Treatment of Childhood Obesity;” “Preventing Sleep-Related Infant Deaths,” “Primary Care and Behavioral Healthcare Equals Integrated and Holistic Care,” “Healthcare Reform and the Impact on Illinois Residents;” “Breaking Rules and Starting Rebellions: Every day Strategies for Overthrowing Adultitis,” “Preventing Early Childhood Caries and Improving Oral Health in Young Children,” and “Concussion Recognition and Management.”

On Saturday, Nov. 3, conferences are geared toward parents and guardians, early childhood professionals, elementary education professionals and others providing support to children and families.

Keynote speaker is Diane Craft. Her presentation is on “Active Play: Fun Physical Activities for Young Children.” She will introduce fun, inclusive, developmentally appropriate physical activities that use inexpensive small spaces, and work well in homes, childcare centers, and schools.

Breakout sessions include: “Oral Health 101, Sesame Street Food for Thought: Eating Well on a Budget, Love Plus Guidance Plus Limits Equals Healthy Children;” “Building Blocks for Success in Life: The 40 Developmental Assets;” “Be Careful!: Preventing Childhood Injuries;” “Preventing Sleep-Related Infant Deaths;” “Mac ‘n Cheese Please;” “CATCH for Early Childhood & CATCH on to Health; “K - 8th, Balancing Screen Time;” “Asthma 101 – What You Need to Know;” “Autism Spectrum Disorder;” “Disruptive Behavior Disorders in Young Children: School-based Solutions;” “How Green Is Your Playground? Naturalizing the Outdoor Learning Environment;” “Helping Each Child Reach Their Potential;” “Bullying Facts and Myths;” “Children and Sleep, Working with Families through Mental Health Concerns;” “Praise or Rewards? Do I Have to Make a Choice?;” and “Developing a Safe, Accessible and Educational Outdoor Learning Environment.”

Saturday will also feature a literacy showcase with local children’s book authors, Angie Wyatt, Rick Gravatt and Marilyn Toliver. There will be a marketplace with vendors, as well as giveaways throughout the conference events. Luncheon entertainment and fine arts showcase is provided by the SIU Preparatory School of Arts.

“We are so excited to announce that we have secured J. Maichle Bacon, MPH President of the Illinois Public Health Association as our closing luncheon speaker on Friday, Nov. 2nd,” Brown said. “The Illinois Public Health Association, an affiliate of the American Public Health Association, is Illinois’ oldest and largest voluntary organization devoted exclusively to matters of public health.”

WSIU Public Broadcasting and student volunteers will develop a social networking initiative for the Southern Illinois Conference on Children’s Health. This innovative approach to digitizing the event will enable conference organizers to share speaker interviews, photos, blogs, tweets, and postings about the conference in real time with community members at any location.

For more information about the conference, contact Brown at or by calling 618-694-3646.