HealthCorps announces grant from Anthem Blue Cross Foundation to expand HealthCorps University into Los Angeles Homeless Shelter

Posted 03/12/2018 | By HealthCorps

NEW YORK, New York (March 09, 2018) –The lack of affordable housing in Los Angeles has increased the number of women and children looking for shelter. In order for homeless shelter residents to become self-sufficient, it’s important that they have on-site access to health and wellness education and services. This is why, HealthCorps.org, a national health and wellness nonprofit founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Lisa Oz, is pleased to announce its one-year partnership with Anthem Blue Cross Foundation to place a full-time HealthCorps trainer at Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women and Children, a program of Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc..

Good Shepherd Center’s mission is to empower women and their children to move from homelessness to self-sufficiency through housing, employment and support services, offered with dignity and love.

“The Good Shepherd program focuses on ending the generational cycle of homelessness by giving women and children the tools to lead productive and healthy lives. Anthem Blue Cross Foundation’s partnership with HealthCorps will now ensure that Good Shepherd residents are given the tools they need to live healthy lives. We are proud of our partnership and are honored to dedicate ourselves to changing lives at Good Shepherd Center,” said Steve Melody, Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal president.

The program is intended to help women experiencing homelessness develop the skills and capacity to make healthy choices in their environment.  The HealthCorps trainer, Ejiro Ntekume, will help bridge the knowledge and access gap between women experiencing homelessness and neighboring community wellness partners that can provide resources to support their journey to adopt healthier lifestyles. Ntekume was previously a HealthCorps coordinator at Long Beach Polytechnic High School for two years. She is a graduate of both University of California Berkeley and University of California Los Angeles.

“For over a decade, HealthCorps has been providing invaluable life-saving skills to many of America’s most challenging high schools and settings. The homeless population is more susceptible to physical and mental health issues, we hope to give women at Good Shepherd Center the skills they need to embrace a happy and healthier lifestyle. We are excited about this opportunity to foster real change at Good Shepherd Center. We are profoundly grateful to Anthem Blue Cross Foundation for helping us expand our curriculum to this setting,” said HealthCorps President Michelle Bouchard.

At Good Shepherd, the HealthCorps trainer would provide programming five days a week based upon the three pillars of the HealthCorps curriculum: nutrition, physical education and mental resilience. In addition to teaching lessons from the HealthCorps curriculum, the trainer will give participates short-term and long-term life-saving and vocational skills such as teaching participants CPR, culinary skills, health literacy (reading nutritional labels), lessons in shopping on a budget and lesson about diseases such as addition and diabetes.

The program at Good Shepherd Center began in late February 2018.


About HealthCorps

HealthCorps is a national non-profit organization that gives teens short and long-term lifesaving skills for physical and mental health so they and their families can live longer, more productive and happier lives. HealthCorps students exercise more, eat better and practice positive thought. The program will impact almost 1 million students across the United States in 2017.

The HealthCorps curriculum has been refined and developed in its in-school Living Labs program since 2003, where a full-time Coordinator is placed inside a high-need high school for two years to mentor hundreds of students, teach health related workshops, and promote a variety of during and after school activities. Coordinators are recent college graduates who go on to careers in medicine, public health policy or wellness practices.

About Good Shepherd Center

Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women and Children was founded in1984 and operates three residential facilities, which provide temporary housing to single women and women with minor children experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. Good Shepherd Center also provides supportive services at a fourth facility for mothers with a disabling condition with minor children. Serving over 1,500 homeless individuals each year, Good Shepherd offers the following programs: outreach; food and clothing distribution; drop-in services, and temporary housing.   Good Shepherd Center also offers a Family Services Program which provides parent support and a variety of educational and enrichment programs for kids if all ages.  Good Shepherd Center’s goal is helping women and families experiencing homelessness secure permanent housing.  Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women and Children, which is a non-denominational program of Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc., also provides aftercare services up to a year to former clients once they leave the Program and move into permanent housing to ensure that their transition out of homelessness is a successful one.

 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 year-round Associate Giving program and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates’ 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.

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