Collaboration to Meet the Need for Sports Physicals in Diverse, Low-Income Children in a Rural Community

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1 Scopus citations


Rural and minority populations often experience disparities in health care, which can include access to timely and affordable school sports physicals. To address this challenge and encourage an active lifestyle, faculty at a rural campus of the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing collaborated with local school nurses to initiate an innovative free sports/school physicals program. During the first 3 years of the program, 186 mostly middle and high school students received free physicals. Physicals included a medical history; assessment of students’ vision, height, weight, body composition, blood pressure, and glucose level; a physical exam; and referral for follow-up care when appropriate. This article shares results of the program including the concerning findings of the percentage of participating students with overweight/obesity and hypertension. Overall, families have expressed appreciation for the program. Holding the event after school and into the evening enables families with working parents to participate, and providing services without cost relieves the financial burden for those with lower incomes. This collaborative, free sports physicals program demonstrates one approach to improve health care access and equity that can be expanded to other communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-133
Number of pages3
JournalNASN School Nurses
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • National Association of School Nurses
  • diabetes/endocrine
  • health disparities
  • nutrition
  • obesity
  • physical activity
  • school nurses
  • sports physicals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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