The Kiwanis organization is known for serving children of the World. Recently the Crookston Kiwanis Club teamed up with the RiverView Foundation to serve the children in our community.

    The Kiwanis organization is known for serving children of the World. Recently the Crookston Kiwanis Club teamed up with the RiverView Foundation to serve the children in our community.

    The local Kiwanis recently sponsored new lead poisoning testing equipment at RiverView Health through the Kiwanis Children’s Health Fund – a fund the group started on Giving Hearts Day in 2009. Childhood lead poisoning is one of the most common environmental illnesses in our country, impacting an estimated one out of 10 children. If a child is exposed to lead and it goes undiagnosed the negative effects can result in developmental disorders which can impact the child’s life forever. Some of the risk factors are: decreased cognitive performance and lower IQ, increased incidence of attention-related and problem behaviors, delayed puberty and postnatal growth, and decreased hearing.

    While children were already being screened for lead poisoning at routine well-child exams at RiverView Health, the screening required a blood draw and test results were not immediate. The new equipment does away with the blood draw and now only requires a simple finger poke for collection. The new equipment also allows for results in only three minutes so the child’s provider can report the results at the checkup rather than at a later date.

    “We (Kiwanis) recognize the importance of early screening for children,’’ shared Shirley Iverson, president of the local chapter. “Lead can harm a child's growth, behavior, and ability to learn, and with the new machine a simple finger prick and off the blood goes for quick onsite testing.  By contributing to the purchase of this machine our club set a positive testing standard for the children of the area to be healthier, to lessen the barriers for learning and development.’’  

    If you would like to donate to the Children’s Health Fund or any other programs through the Foundation to help with its mission of assisting with RiverView Health’s most critical needs, please make a personal donation on Giving Hearts Day and let others know the importance RiverView Health has had in your life by asking them to make a contribution, as well.

    For more information about the Giving Hearts Day program, contact Foundation Director Kent Bruun at kbruun@riverviewhealth.org or by calling 281-9249. Giving Hearts Day donations can also be made Feb. 9 at givingheartsday.org. If you would like assistance with your donation, stop by Bruun’s office, located near the RiverView Cafeteria, and he will take your information in a secure, confidential setting and input the information for you.