The Medical Society of Virginia Alliance Health Promotion Committee awarded its first Health Promotion grant to Rockingham County Medical Association this April 2012. The grant of $500 will be used for The RealCare Baby Infant Simulation Program.
RCMA members Kathy Lareau, Beth Nelsen, with assistance from volunteer Administrative Assistant Elly Swecker, organized the effort to purchase 5 RealCare Infant simulations for the Harrisonburg City School System. The RCMA board believed that prevention taught at the middle school level provides an important opportunity to reduce the area pregnancy rate. Pregnancy rates among 15 -17 year-olds in Harrisonburg and Rockingham county are double the state’s average. One in five area youth have had sex before the age of 15.
RCMA teamed with the Harrisonburg middle schools to expand student access to the RealCare Baby program by providing 5 additional babies to be used in the school Family and Consumer Science class. Following this donation, the Harrisonburg City school system had a complete classroom of 23 dolls. RCMA plans to provide additional supplies with the funds that have been raised.
A December condo raffle raised $775 towards the goal, and individual members contributed an additional $1625. The grant will help purchase car seats for the dolls.