[Image Credit: MoonRhino via Flickr]
Pretty much everyone in the USA knows the importance of the date, April 15th. That’s the day each American’s tax return must be postmarked and sent to the IRS. (This year the deadline is being moved due to a holiday so tax payers will have until midnight on Monday, April 18th to mail their returns.)
Well here at People to People Ambassador Programs we have an equally important date and that is January 15th of each year, and no that date isn’t changing. January 15th is the due date for each enrolled student Ambassador to submit a health form to their local leader.
The leader then makes a copy of both pages of this important form and keeps the original health forms and then ships a copy the Health and Safety Department at the Program Office. The purpose of making a copy is to allow the leader to carry the original with them for each student in their care in the unlikely event a medical situation arises. That way any listed medications or allergies or other important medical background can be shared with the medical professional treating the student in the foreign country.
Adhering to this date is important. The information on each health form must be reviewed and entered into our computer system. (We are working on a new process which will allow for students to fill in the health form online, dramatically improving the collection process starting later in the year.) Once the health form is imputed, the computer system scans for any of over 300 medical conditions. If a student should have one or more of these conditions a medical hold is then generated.
If you would like to learn more about the medical hold process, you can review, “Navigating the Health form, a Vital Step in Your Child’s Safety,” a blog entry made by the Health & Safety Supervisor, Wendy Armes, posted back in September for more information and background.
My son will be traveling on the the Journey through the South Pacific program in June and we filled out his health form last night. He will be turning it in during his first orientation meeting which just so happens to be scheduled on January 15th, so we won’t be late.
Using Cellhire and don't have a cell phone number yet?
While filling out the health form (which I helped design by the way), I did notice one difficult question to answer. On the form it suggests you consider renting a cell phone for your child for safety reasons, which I support. It also asks you to supply us with the cell number that your child might be taking along with them. My son is planning to rent a Cellhire GPS phone with the new Panic Alert button on it. We won’t have that number until a couple weeks prior to travel, though.
Sometimes as much as we run simulations and plan, it takes participating as a parent of a Student Ambassador to get some of the minor annoyances to our system out. We will be modifying the health form for 2012 so that we don’t ask for the number yet.
Anyway, no worries, Casey will be able to provide the leader the number when he meets in the departure city so that the leader has his contact information in the event he ever needs it. It doesn’t happen often but like any parent I want Casey to be as reachable as possible in any situation.
Besides, the Cellhire phone will be local to Australia so the phone rates I get will be much less than if he were to take his personal cell and have me activate the international calling option. I have to admit that since I helped guide the development of the GPS tracking options I can’t wait to track my own son with it!
I will be able to see the same road he is standing on and freak him out by sending a SMS message commenting on something he is looking at from my home in Spokane. Talk about being a helicopter parent!
If any of you are interested in renting a Cellhire cell phone, just go to http://www.cellhire.com/ambassador and view all the many phone options you can select from.
So remember, get the health form in by January 15th. My staff is waiting with anticipation for them to arrive on-time in the program office so we can check that step off your list of things to do before embarking on your wonderful life changing experience with People to People Ambassador Programs.
As always, I wish you all safe travels and a healthy life!