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Health services available to Macdonald residents

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Expectant moms and dads often check online for information on pregnancy, giving birth and newborn care.


But meeting and talking with others in the same situation at a prenatal class is often comforting, and must be done in-person.


Public health nurse Shelley Robson said soon-to-be parents have many questions, and most have been asked for years.


"They still ask the same questions," she said.


Robson works at the Sanford Public Health Unit, part of Southern Health, which provides services to RM of Macdonald residents. The unit was established in 1975.


She collects the names of those who contact her about prenatal care and when she has four or more, she plans a class. The next one will be held in Sanford over three Tuesday evenings in April.


Each month, Robson holds a child health clinic at the Sanford Health Unit and at the La Salle Pharmacy.


She said this winter’s flu outbreak has kept her busy with vaccinations — first at flu clinics, then administering vaccinations upon request.


In addition to those responsibilities, she visits Grade 4, 6 and 9 students at schools in Domain, La Salle, Oak Bluff, Sanford and Starbuck to provide the vaccinations provided by Manitoba Health for students in these age groups. The first round of shots is given in the fall months, with boosters provided later in the school year, if necessary. There is no charge for these vaccinations.


Robson also organizes a preschool screening day at Sanford Collegiate each June to identify any areas of concern before children enter school.


"I hold it on high school graduation day because the school is empty that day," she said.


Robson said several stations are set up to assess each child’s hearing and their speech, language, fine and gross motor skills. This year, parents with children born in 2009 are welcome to make an appointment to bring their children to the screening.


Robson also works with staff at Macdonald Healthy Child, the Macdonald-Headingley Recreation District and Macdonald Services to Seniors on programs designed to improve the health of local residents.


Her hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. She can be reached by calling 204-736-2388 or at srobson@southernhealth.ca.

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