Gov. John Kitzhaber to visit St. Charles Family Care in Redmond Tuesday

BEND, Ore. — Gov. John Kitzhaber is visiting St. Charles Family Care in Redmond Tuesday to learn more about the clinic’s participation in the national Reach Out and Read program, and the media are invited to attend. The governor will arrive at the clinic, located at 211 NW Larch Ave.,  at 10:40 a.m.

In June 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a statement declaring literacy promotion—from an infant’s very first days—to be an “essential” component of pediatric primary care.

Through the Reach Out and Read program, which St. Charles Family Care in Redmond started in January 2012, each child between the ages of 6 months and 5 years who visits for a well-child check-up receives a free book.

Watching a child hold a book, turn the pages and explore the words and photos is a great way to gain insight into his or her development, said Dr. Peggy Philp, a pediatrician at the clinic. That interaction between patient and book is just one of the reasons Philp wanted her clinic to join the national Reach Out and Read program.

Reach Out and Read was developed in 1989 by two pediatricians in the Boston area who felt that physicians could promote literacy by partnering with parents and essentially prescribing families to read. Each year, medical providers at the nearly 5,000 Reach Out and Read program sites nationwide distribute 6.5 million books to children and invaluable literacy advice to parents.

“Studies have shown that families involved in the Reach Out and Read program are 10 times more likely to read to their children at least three times a week,” Philp said. “Preschoolers in the Reach Out and Read program are six months ahead of non-Reach Out and Read kids.”

Gov. Kitzhaber’s visit highlights literacy as a priority for his administration. Students who are not reading at grade level by third grade are four times more likely to drop out before finishing their education. Children reading at or above grade level by third grade are generally more successful in grade school, less likely to drop out of high school, and earn more as adults, even after adjusting for differences in family background.

“It’s a win-win,” Philp said. “Reading is good for young kids and people get rewarded for coming to the doctor. They are more motivated to get their preventive care, which decreases the likelihood they will end up in the emergency room.”

About St. Charles Health System

St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, Ore., owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras and Redmond, and leases and operates Pioneer Memorial Hospital. It also owns family care clinics in Bend, Madras, Prineville, Redmond and Sisters. St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 3,400 caregivers. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities.

For more information contact Lisa Goodman at [email protected] or 541-706-5989

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