HealthCorps®’ School Mentoring Program Launches in Delaware

Posted 05/19/2010 | By HealthCorps

Nemours Partners with Movement Founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz to Address Child Obesity

NEW YORK, NY – May 19, 2010 – HealthCorps® – a proactive health movement with an in-school educational and mentoring program in 50 schools in nine states announces the launch of its curriculum in two Delaware schools – McKean High School in Wilmington and Laurel High School in Laurel. Nemours, which owns and operates the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, is a founding sponsor of this initiative in Delaware. The program, led by a full-time salaried Health Coordinator, will make its debut in the state at the start of the 2010-2011 school year.

HealthCorps was founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz, the host of the nationally syndicated talk show, “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University Medical Center. In 2003, he conceived the program in New York City after finding himself operating on patients in their twenties who were in need of heart surgery because of poor lifestyle choices. He set out to save a generation of youth from sustaining shorter life spans than those of their parents.

Dr. Oz, who graduated from high school in Delaware, joined Delaware’s Governor in announcing the program’s Delaware debut.

“I’m delighted to introduce HealthCorps to the State of Delaware to reach a new population of teens and communities with our interactive school-based program that I created based on the Peace Corps model, said HealthCorps Founder and Chairman, Dr. Oz. “I spent most of my youth here, so I am especially thrilled to be able to work with its schools teaching teens how to better value their bodies. We know that good nutrition and increased physical activity have a lasting and profound effect on their academic and professional success.”

“We welcome HealthCorps to the first state,” said Delaware Governor Jack Markell. “One of our top goals is strengthening education and this program compliments our efforts to promote nutrition and healthy lifestyles. If we can help our students learn how to manage food and fitness and develop good eating and exercising habits, we can equip them with a skill for life.”

According to State Secretary of Education, Lillian Lowery, “We know that students learn better when they eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. I am pleased that HealthCorps is bringing its program to Delaware to help educate and motivate our students to make healthy choices.”

“Nemours is pleased to partner with Dr. Oz and Governor Markell on this important health initiative for Delaware adolescents,” says Doug Tynan, Program Director of Nemours Health & Prevention Services. “Empowering teens at this important stage of their development can teach lessons about living a healthy life that will be an essential step in an overall healthy lifestyle as an adult.”

“The work of HealthCorps will complement the existing effective work that Nemours is doing in our communities, primary care sites and schools in Delaware,” Tynan adds. “We are looking forward to this collaboration.”

HealthCorps is focused on three priorities – educating the student body; achieving community outreach through “FitTown” – an initiative to connect and empower citizens and organizations to bring about awareness and affect change through local projects and initiatives; and advocating for policy shifts across all levels of government that put health and physical education back into the core curriculum of the American education system.

With a network that spans 50 high schools in nine states, including Arizona, California, Mississippi and New York, HealthCorps now reaches about 25,000 students and approximately 50,000 school staff, family and community members through its national program. HealthCorps’ core mission is to empower teens and communities to become agents of change and help the country reach the tipping point towards wellness now and for the future. As part of the organization’s mandate, the school program extends to the community through health festivals and liaisons with local health resources and non-profits who share HealthCorps’ mission.

About HealthCorps
HealthCorps empowers students to become educated consumers and health activists who take their message to underserved communities with upbeat events, such as the month-long Healthy Steps virtual race using pedometers and the community-based “Highway to Health” Festivals. The HealthCorps Board of Directors includes such medical practitioners as Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. David Katz (Yale), Dr. Michael Roizen (Cleveland Clinic), Dr. Brian Wansink (Cornell), Dr. Laura Berman and many other renowned health experts. Proceeds from funds raised are used to establish the HealthCorps curriculum in additional high schools across the country. A 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization, HealthCorps currently receives no Federal funding. Total funding is garnered through a combination of state, city, private foundation, corporate and individual contributions. For more information, please visitwww.healthcorps.org.

About Nemours
Nemours, which owns and operates the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and Nemours Health & Prevention services in Delaware, is one of the nation’s leading pediatric health systems, dedicated to advancing higher standards in children’s health. We’ve made a promise to do whatever it takes to prevent and treat even the most disabling childhood conditions—a promise of specialty medical care, advanced hospitalization, applied research, and advocacy integrated with health information, prevention and a continuous process of teaching and learning. Affiliated with respected community and academic partners, Nemours cares directly for 250,000 children annually, treating every child as if they were our own. A uniquely enhanced electronic medical record system prompts caregivers to consider past experience in linking Nemours care-giving specialists with the patient family and referring physicians across time, geography, and condition to achieve optimal results for each child. Please visit us online at Nemours.org.

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Karen Johnson, HealthCorps® Director of Communications
Phone: (212) 742-2875
Email: karen.johnson@healthcorps.org

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