Volunteers Needed for Program Uniting Generations in the Fight Against Obesity
Remember riding your bicycle all over town until dark and then coming home to a hot, healthy meal that your mom prepared? Many of those who recall these childhood memories are now volunteering to help the next generation – and in the process themselves – getting and staying healthy through an innovative program called CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health).
Created by the OASIS Institute (OASIS), CATCH Healthy Habits, is a unique intergenerational health program which pairs older adults with children to encourage healthier eating habits and physical activity. If you haven't heard of the program you probably will soon because it just got a big boost.
Thanks to a grant from its corporate foundation, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire (Anthem) is pleased to team up with Southern New Hampshire Services (SNHS) in bringing the CATCH Healthy Habits program to the Queen City. The local funds are part of a larger, $2.7 million grant commitment that will expand the program to 18 cities over two years.
“Obesity-related expenses and complications are quickly becoming one of the nation's most pressing public health challenges,” said Richard P. Lafleur, M.D., F.A.C.P., Anthem's medical director. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35 percent of people age 50 and older lead sedentary lifestyles, and obesity rates in the United States have more than tripled in the last three decades among children ages 6 to 11. That's why programs like the one we're announcing today are so important.”
Volunteers age 50 years of age and older are needed for the program. Many will work with children in kindergarten through the fifth grade during weekly one-hour sessions in which they will play active games, learn about the importance of good food choices and make healthy snacks. Volunteers can also contribute their skills to help with training, community awareness, coordination and other leadership roles.
“We know that if we can get kids off to a healthy start, they have a better chance of growing into healthy teens and adults,” Dr. Lafleur added. “That's why we're excited to work with a program like OASIS which provides that important foundation for area youth.”
Over the next two years, OASIS will work with its primary partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, along with YMCAs, schools and other community partners to reach an estimated 5,000 children and volunteers nationwide.
“Southern New Hampshire Services and OASIS share a goal to engage mature adults in meaningful community service,” said Lyn Collins, SNHS CATCH Healthy Habits Coordinator. “CATCH Healthy Habits not only helps to combat the serious issue of obesity, but also benefits the adults who volunteer. Research shows that volunteers live longer, healthier lives than those who do not volunteer.”
Anyone seeking more information about the program or wishing to volunteer, can contact Ms. Collins at (603) 634-1169 or via email at email@example.com
About the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Anthem's inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield 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 and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
About the OASIS Institute
OASIS is a national education organization dedicated to enriching the lives of adults age 50 and older through lifelong learning and service. Offering stimulating programs in the arts, humanities, health, technology and volunteer service, OASIS brings people together to learn, lead and contribute in their communities. Manchester is part of a national network that serves a diverse audience through educational centers and community partners. The OASIS Institute is nationally headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. For more information, visit www.oasisnet.org.
About the Southern New Hampshire Services
The mission of Southern New Hampshire Services is to provide activities designed to assist low income participants, including the elderly poor, to secure and retain meaningful employment, attain an adequate education, and make better use of available income; to ameliorate the causes of poverty within the community; to meet urgent and immediate individual and family needs, including health, nutrition, housing and employment-related assistance; and to address the problems and barriers which block the achievement of self-sufficiency. Visit www.snhs.org for more information.
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of New Hampshire, Inc., and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.