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Kaiser Permanente Teams With Students Run LA to Provide At-Risk Youth Free Physical Exams

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 General News J E 4
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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the tenth year in a row, Kaiser Permanente physician Victor Wong, MD will open the doors of the Kaiser Permanente Cudahy Medical Offices on Oct. 24 to provide free physicals to 160 at-risk youth planning to participate in the Los Angeles Marathon. Dr. Wong, Chief of Pediatrics at the Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center, organizes the event to ensure local teenagers participating in Students Run LA (SRLA), a non-profit after-school physical fitness and mentoring program, are in good condition to train for the 26.2 mile race.

"Although our program provides students all of the resources and equipment needed to successfully complete the marathon, from running shoes to nutrition, each student is required to secure medical clearance," said SRLA Executive Director Michelle Fleenor. "Thanks to the generous support of Dr. Wong and over 30 other Kaiser Permanente volunteer physicians, nurses and administrative staff, we are able to provide physical exams to those who do not have access to doctors or medical care."

For many of the teenagers participating in SRLA, the required physical exam marks the first time they have ever visited a doctor. Sometimes, the exams uncover health problems that are addressed with positive outcomes, but might otherwise have gone undetected.

"Kaiser Permanente is very honored to partner with Students Run LA program again this year," said Dr. Victor Wong.   "We have many people who have been volunteering every year to support this important cause.  Keeping kids physically active while young helps them to develop good, healthy habits in adulthood."  

Following the lead of Kaiser Permanente Downey, for the second consecutive year Kaiser Permanente in Panorama City will also offer free physicals on Oct. 24 to another group of SRLA students.

To date, SRLA has provided opportunity and inspiration to approximately 39,000 local youth. On average, more than 95 percent of SRLA students complete the full 26.2 mile course. In addition, 95 percent of high school seniors in the program graduate and plan to attend college.

Founded in 1989, SRLA prepares an average of 3,000 at-risk secondary school students annually to complete the Los Angeles Marathon under the guidance of some 450 volunteer teachers and adult leaders in 175 locations. The rigorous six-month training program challenges young people to stay in school and experience the benefits of goal setting, character development and improved health through a truly life changing experience.  For more information on SRLA, visit www.srla.org or call (818) 654-1620.

SOURCE Students Run LA

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