Posted 11/21/2011 | By HealthCorps

Anthem Blue Cross Foundation Partners with Movement Founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz to Address Child Obesity Through Proven Peer Mentoring Program

New York, New York– Today HealthCorps®, a wellness movement with a proven peer mentoring program in 54 schools in 13 states, announced its new two-year partnership and $500,000 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation to bring its program and curriculum to eight high schools in California. HealthCorps was co-founded by renowned heart surgeon and two-time Emmy® Award-winning talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife Lisa Oz, to help stem the rise of child obesity by engaging youth as the catalyst to help Americans get healthier.

The new fundingwill be used to introduce HealthCorps to schools in Alameda, Del Norte, Shafter (Kern County), San Fernando and San Bernardino. The grant is related to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) HealthCorps Pilot Program in which Anthem Blue Cross Foundation matched funding from the CDPH to implement the peer mentoring program in eight schools, as well as research and measure impact and outcomes.

“I’m grateful to the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation for helping us launch the HealthCorps program in more California high schools and communities,” said Dr. Oz, HealthCorps chairman. “Peer mentoring has proven to be an ideal way to reach teens and show them not only how to better value their bodies but also to give them purpose and leadership skills. We know that good nutrition and increased physical activity have a lasting and profound effect on their academic and professional success.”

The heart of HealthCorps is the Coordinator, a recent college graduate who defers entry into medical school or graduate health programs to serve as a Peer-Mentor through a two-year full time assignment at a designated public high school.

Administering a curriculum on nutrition, fitness and mental strength, Coordinators conduct approximately twelve classes a week and lead after school and community programs. They also serve as a hub for best practices – partnering with public health departments, school systems, foundations, the business community and other non-profit organizations to coalesce efforts.

“The mission of the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation is to improve the lives of the people we serve and the health of our communities,” said Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross.

“In partnership with HealthCorps, we hope that the children at these eight schools will learn the necessary healthy habits to live a long and healthy life. We also want to thank Dr. Oz for his commitment to giving our next generation the knowledge they’ll need to avoid the often-preventable diseases of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.”

The schools funded by the $500,000 Anthem Blue Cross Foundation grant are Bloomington High School and San Bernardino High School in San Bernardino County, Del Norte High School in Del Norte County, Shafter High School in Kern County, Tennyson High School, San Lorenzo High School, Hayward High School in Alameda County and San Fernando High School in Los Angeles County.

In July, HealthCorps opened a West Coast office in Sacramento to oversee expansion in the Western region of the country. Annual Coordinator training also took place in Sacramento during the month of July thanks to the generosity of the California Department of Public Health. HealthCorps’ other schools in the state are supported through funding from the California Walnut Board and the California Endowment.

“We’re as much a social movement and research lab as a program,” said HealthCorps President Michelle Bouchard. “In helping young Americans find out what they are really hungry for and why, we’re giving them direction as they spread our message to their friends and families.”

About HealthCorps
HealthCorps® a 501 (C) 3 co-founded by renowned heart surgeon and two-time Emmy® Award-winning talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife Lisa, is building a movement to fight the childhood obesity crisis by helping Americans discover what they are really hungry for and why. HealthCorps “Coordinators” carry out unique in-school and community programming targeting high-need populations. Using peer-mentoring to deliver a progressive curriculum in nutrition, fitness and mental strength, HealthCorps Coordinators give teens purpose, help develop human character and inspire an interest in health and culinary arts careers. HealthCorps also serves as a unique research laboratory – exploring the complex, underlying causes of the obesity crisis and discovering and communicating solutions. HealthCorps is bringing many initiatives together to address the “Whole Child” and activate the students’ mind, body and spirit. As a result, HealthCorps is transforming the educational paradigm one school at a time. The program network spans 54 schools in 13 states. For more information, please visit www.healthcorps.org and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthcorps and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthCorps .

About Anthem Blue Cross Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Association promotes Anthem Blue Cross’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s annual associate giving campaign and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbol are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association.

About Anthem Blue Cross
Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross name and symbol are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.

# # #

Join the conversation! Leave a comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.


Subscribe to the HealthCorps Newsletter