City High Hosts Get Moving For Healthy Kids 5k


Olivia Parrott and Riley Lewers

As a rainy morning became a sunny mid morning dozens of runners gathered at City High’s Raffensperger track for the sixth annual Get Moving for Healthy Kids event on Sunday to run for the common goal of providing healthcare for every child in the ICCSD.

“You want to reach down to what really touches you because you want to go into it with good energy,” Race Ambassador, Tim Dwight, said. “You want to make a difference. [The problem] is in my hometown, and in that way it becomes important.”

The 5k run benefits the Healthy Kids Clinics, which are located permanently at Southeast and Northwest and temporarily at the City and West high schools. The barriers to health care In the Iowa City area include a lack of a primary care provider, transportation difficulties, and the Inability to afford medications. The clinics attempt to fix these problems by  providing treatment of minor illness (i.e., ear infection, strep throat), X-rays (done at Corridor Radiology), lab tests, prescriptions for medications, health education and counseling, and assistance for families needing a healthcare provider in the community.

“There are really two issues here. Firstly, the Get Moving for Healthy Kids is an attempt to show children and their parents, that exercises and activities can be fun,” pediatrician and Health Clinic Coordinator Doctor Pete Wallace said.

The Get Moving for Healthy Kids sponsors’ money is deposited into an endowment fund for the foundation. One of the largest contributors, Mercy Hospital, helped jumpstart the foundation with their five year pledge of $100,000 per year to be matched by the community, ultimately raising one million dollars for the foundation.

The goal was met and these funds, along with Mercy’s continuing involvement, matching the community donation dollar for dollar, provide about half of the operation budget for all the clinics. With these funds, in addition to servicing the healthcare provided by the Healthy Kids clinics, the organization purchases pedometers for students in the iccsd, which are used to track steps. Parents are encouraged to use the pedometers too.

“Secondly there is a big need in Iowa City, largely unknown to a lot of people, for health care access for children who don’t have access to health insurance whether by title XIX etc,” Dr. Wallace said. “We want to provide health care of any kind-immunizations, physicals- for anyone in the district who needs it.”

The clinics in Iowa City are part of a national movement which includes 2200 school-based health care clinics. What has been found in clinics across the country is that children who come to these clinics miss less school, which results in receiving more education. They also have a higher graduation percentage.

The foundation is still building, as they are developing a relationship with the child psychiatry department at the university, and starting to do a lot more things in mental health.

In terms of volunteering, if a student has adequate health care, although they may want to help their fellow peers, it may be hard for a student to contribute.

When you’re in highschool, you don’t have a really big world.” You’re not involved in the community as much, because you’re trying to get into the community. You’re trying to go to school, you’re trying to be an athlete, you’re trying to be a student,” Dwight said.

Nonetheless, City High students and parents were among the volunteers helping to make the event run smoothly throughout the 5k walk-run and the Youth Events.

Natalie, part of the youth of Iowa City, participated in the 5k.

“ I felt good and I tried not to stop,” she said.

Natalie has been running in the event for as long as she can remember and she plans to participate in the future.

“Everybody loves to run a race, it’s back to school, it’s City High,” Dwight said. You get out in the community. People driving by say, “What’s going on?” and they look it up.