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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Oct. 5, 2009

Northwest, St. Francis team up to educate children about diabetes

Northwest is working with St. Francis Hospital and Health Services to produce an educational DVD alerting children of the dangers of diabetes.

St. Francis Hospital along with other health organizations such as St. Francis Hospital Foundation, North Kansas City Hospital, Heartland Health and Heartland Foundation, are providing funding for this project through the Healthy Partnership Program.

Debra Hull, an employee of St. Francis Hospital and a diabetic herself, approached Fred Lamer, assistant professor of mass communication at Northwest and director of Bearcat Productions, to discuss the possibility of producing a DVD on diabetes. Bearcat Productions is an in-house audio/visual unit within the Department of Mass Communication comprised of students, faculty and staff who produce video projects for both on- and off-campus clients.

"Everything about Bearcat Productions is student driven," Lamer said. "A production such as the diabetes project is an opportunity to give students professional experience to work on a professional-level project."

Since last spring, Will Murphy, video engineer, and Michael Willis, a student associate producer, worked together with Hull and Lamer on the project. In September and August, auditions were conducted to cast the primary roles in the DVD. Two Maryville youth, 11-year-old Sarah Smith and 13-year-old Nathaniel Alexander, will be featured on the DVD. Hull will serve as the program's host.

The video, to be completed in April 2010, will be distributed to schools, children and parents in northwest Missouri.

"Our first commitment is to the school system and the surrounding counties," Lamer said. "There is no other similar DVD about diabetes right now, so it has the potential for national distribution."

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468