Modern career day: Using technology to connect with students

Dr. Thakar connects with a seventh grade class via Skype.

Dr. Thakar connects with a seventh grade class via Skype.

Recently, with the help of Skype, I met Gloria Roschke and her seventh grade class from the Milwaukee Academy of Science. The students attending this magnet school are on a path to pursue higher education in the field of science. As a class project, they were learning about childhood diseases and asked if I would speak to them as a pediatric oncologist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

I was impressed by their questions, from “What is the most common cancer in kids?” to “What is chemotherapy and does it hurt?” These …Continue reading →

e-Learning is a Smart Choice!

As a public health professional in Milwaukee, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Children’s Health Education Center in some capacity over the last decade. I recently transitioned to the private, nonprofit sector and serve as director of Health & Life Skills for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.

One of my primary functions is to assess needs and develop health programming for more than 30,000 youth members. The Health & Life Skills department is one of five core service areas that educates youth about key issues that affect our community. We cover topics …Continue reading →

Making the right choices

A new exhibit opened last weekend at Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in Milwaukee. Kohl’s Healthy Kids: It’s Your Move! was developed in partnership with Children’s Hospital and Health System and brought to you by Kohl’s Department Stores. Check out photos from the grand opening event!

Kids sit and pedal as they answer questions related to bike safety. Three correct answers in a row, sends their ball all the way up the translucent ball tower.

Kids sit and pedal as they answer questions related to bike safety. Three correct answers in a row, sends their ball all the way up the translucent ball tower.

…Continue reading →

E-learning engages, enriches

A few years ago, Children’s Health Education Center launched an e-learning program.  E-learning health education programs may have seemed pretty far “outside of the box” for some, and CHEC was a bit ahead of the curve. With a great amount of passion, persistence and creativity by CHEC’s e-learning team, I am thrilled to announce that CHEC BlueKids e-learning programs have reached nearly 13,000 students in the 2008-2009 school-year – that’s triple what we reached the year before. The game-based e-learning …Continue reading →

Milwaukee kids focus on the roots of violence to ‘Stay Alive’

Sixth graders in Milwaukee Public Schools are learning about interpersonal violence in a new way, thanks to Milwaukee firefighters, paramedics and community leaders. Project Ujima, a program of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, is partnering with these community groups to facilitate classroom discussions with young people about violence through a new program, “Staying Alive.”

To date, we’re really proud to say that “Staying Alive” has reached more than 500 students, with the goal of having all MPS sixth graders experience the program within the next two years. The “team” comprised of two firefighters and two Project Ujima staff visits school classrooms and talks to students about the roots of violence, strategies for avoiding violence, anger triggers and how to stay safe. Most effective are simulated activities like utilizing pulse sticks that show the kids their anger. The pulse sticks help students understand their anger triggers an actual physiological response. They also learn ways to calm themselves down when their anger has been triggered, and they can see the difference for themselves as they calm down. Role-playing with students illustrates real life situations in which they may find themselves, and it teaches them how to respond with out resorting to violence. …Continue reading →

Some tests are not for schools

Yesterday, an editorial letter I submitted, Don’t Test for Drugs at School, was published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. I wanted to share the reasons why, as a pediatrician who specializes in adolescent health, I feel that random drug testing of teenagers in schools is unfounded.

…Continue reading →