Two foundations committed to the health and wellness of area children have teamed up with the Rio Grande Valley’s only children’s hospital to provide flu prevention immunizations and education for children in early Fall 2009.

Children are extremely susceptible to the flu and often spread it to their classmates and families, quickly infecting a large population. Consequently, Kohl’s Cares for Kids, the Garden of Dreams Children’s Foundation and Edinburg Children’s Hospital have teamed up to host a free community flu clinic for kids on Saturday, Aug. 1, at Edinburg Children’s Hospital.

Educational presentations will also be provided by the group at six Rio Grande Valley elementary schools to help strengthen infection control measures for prevention and transmission of the flu during its peak season.

Flu epidemics usually occur during the winter months and the highest rates of infection occur among children. It is the goal of the organizations involved to protect children from the infection by providing immunizations and encouraging best practices to prevent the spread of the infection in the home and school.

The “Kohl’s Foils the Flu” project is made possible through Kohl’s Cares for Kids. Net profits from the sale of special merchandise supports children’s health and education; through 2007, Kohl’s has raised more than $102 million for such initiatives nationwide.

Funds for the local project were raised with Kohl’s Cares for Kids merchandise sold in the Valley stores. Kohl’s presented a check for $21,000 in support of flu and injury prevention programs to the Garden of Dream’s Children’s Foundation at Edinburg Children’s Hospital on Feb. 17.

Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl’s is a family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering moderately priced, exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products in an exciting shopping environment. By the end of April, Kohl’s will operate 1,022 stores in 49 states. About Garden of Dreams Children’s Health Foundation

The Edinburg Children’s Hospital Foundation, dba Garden of Dreams Children’s Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to provide assistance to medically challenged children who require additional services to re-enter their homes.

A significant portion of the money raised by the foundation goes to the purchase of medical equipment and programs to help pediatric patients cope with their illness and prevent healthy children from becoming ill.

About Edinburg Children’s Hospital

Edinburg Children’s Hospital is the Rio Grande Valley’s only stand alone children’s hospital. It is also the first to open a Ronald McDonald Family Room together with the Ronald McDonald House Charity of the Rio Grande Valley. It is a facility of South Texas Health System. The hospital system is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS), a King of Prussia, PA-based company that is one of the largest healthcare management companies in the nation. As the Valley’s leading hospital system, it offers specialized services in behavioral health, cardiovascular care, emergency medicine, neuroscience, oncology, pediatric care, women’s services, and rehabilitation. Its facilities include: Edinburg Children’s Hospital, Edinburg Regional Medical Center, Edinburg Regional Rehab Center, McAllen Medical Center, McAllen Heart Hospital and South Texas Behavioral Health Center and Cornerstone Regional Hospital.