KRMC to hold event to register uninsured AZ kids

Kingman Regional Medical Center is among 75 locations statewide holding a Love Your Kids event today to register some of 130,000 uninsured children in Arizona into the state-sponsored KidsCare health program.

Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, a Love Your Kids supporting organization, will provide volunteers to register local children between noon and 7 p.m. in the main lobby at KRMC, said Teri Williams, KRMC public relations assistant.

"I don't have numbers, but I know forms went out at schools for all school-aged children to take home to parents," she said. "We could have several hundred show up, hopefully.

"St. Vincent de Paul Society will hand out information regarding the Love Your Kids program and how to enroll them in the KidsCare health insurance program. Volunteers can help people complete forms and answer questions."

Arizona ranked 45th nationally in 2006 in children's health coverage, a news release from the AHHA stated. The United States Census Bureau reported 25 percent of Arizona residents without health insurance in 2005 were children 18 and under.

The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System reported 63,530 children were enrolled in KidsCare as of Jan. 1.

KidsCare offers a wide range of medical, dental, vision and hearing services to eligible children without insurance. The news release stated enrollees are healthier and need fewer visits to emergency rooms. School attendance and performance improves by 68 percent.

Love Your Kids is a community project sponsored by more than 100 businesses, education, faith-based and health care organizations.

"Community organizations involved in Love Your Kids believe that Feb. 14 will be a turning point in the lives of many Arizona families," Rev. Jan Olav Flaaten, executive director of the Arizona Ecumenical Council and spokesperson for Love Your Kids, stated in a news release.

"That's when many will learn their children can go to the doctor when they are sick, receive regular dental checkups and even get glasses if needed."

For more information, go to the Web site at www.loveyourkidsaz.org or call (800) 352-3792.

"It's mind boggling to consider that the University of Phoenix Cardinals Stadium, which seats 63,400 people, would not hold all of the Arizona children who are eligible for KidsCare, but not enrolled in the program," Flaaten said. "We believe Feb. 14 will change this situation and give many more Arizona children a healthy chance."