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Mancelona's Ironmen Health Center youth bring home School-Community Health Alliance award

MANCELONA Mancelona High School students have put one of the community's most important intersections on the map.

Child and Adolescent Health Centers: At the Intersection of Health and Education was the theme of this year's School-Based Health Center Awareness Month, recognized by the School-Community Health Alliance of Michigan (SCHA-MI). Members of the Ironmen Health Center's Teen Advisory Council and students from Mrs. Guerriero's 1st-hour art class collaborated to create an artistic 3-D collage of their own photos, assembled to reflect the 'intersection' between health and education in Mancelona.

The Ironmen Health Center entry competed with entries from other school-based health centers throughout Michigan, and was awarded third place in the state. It was displayed with the other winners' works in the State Capitol rotunda in Lansing during the first week in March. First and second-place awards went to teen health centers in Pontiac/Waterford and Muskegon. Erika Van Dam, who oversees the Ironmen Health Center and serves as a SCHA-MI Board member, says the achievement should be a source of pride for the entire community.

"These students brainstormed a work of art," she said. "Not only does it speak to the connection between their school and the Ironmen Health Center, it also shows that they care about Mancelona. They see the value and the opportunities. We're thrilled for them, and proud to be a part of their community."

The Ironmen Health Center is a school-linked health facility operated by the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, in collaboration with Mancelona Public Schools, and is located in the Mancelona Family Resource Center at 205 Grove Street. It offers health care and prevention services to anyone age 10 to 21, as well as information for parents and guardians on nearly any topic related to adolescent health. It also provides families with assistance in completing MIChild and Healthy Kids applications. Appointments are available year-round, and walk-ins are welcome. All services are FREE.

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. For more information, visit or call (800) 432-4121.