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McMillen Health hosts open house to debut new educational displays

The School of Rock House Band played as families gathered outside of McMillen’s doors for food, face painting and a bounce house.

Inside, the new displays in McMillen Health’s great hall focus on staying relevant to the health needs of kids today.

One of the first displays kids might encounter is a cell phone health station. McMillen Health spokesperson Sabrina Straessle (Strays-lee) says the station teaches them about the ways cell phones can be harmful to their health, and best practices for using technology.

“Kids can come up and they can press an app and learn some information. So, for your heart, you know you can have headaches, tense muscles, stiff neck, poor posture, you know, if you have too much phone time.”

In the center of the room, several tables walk kids through a farm-to-table food system, that helps show them what a balanced meal looks like. They begin by picking their own food from a table that simulates a farm or board shaped like a tree. Then, they take it over to a kitchen area where recipe cards offer them ways to use the ingredient they’ve chosen.

Once they’ve assembled a “meal,” they then place the various vegetables, fruit, dairy and grain products onto a plate that shows them what a balanced meal looks like.

Other new displays include a skeleton station with X-Rays, an update to the large tooth in the center of the room and a selfie station with McMillen’s mascot, TAM.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.