Wellmark Foundation Grant
to Support Children’s Obesity Prevention Program
July 8, 2008
(Des Moines, Iowa) – Healthy Henry
County Communities in Mt. Pleasant received a $135,500 two-year
grant from The Wellmark Foundation to enhance a childhood
obesity prevention program targeting children in kindergarten
through eighth grade. The program continues an ongoing wellness
initiative to improve childhood weight issues in the county,
which has been supported by previous Wellmark Foundation grants,
a Harkin Wellness grant and other funders.
Wellness Journey, on the Road to Good Health will
promote healthy food choices and increased physical activity
of children in Henry County, says Linda Albright, community
health director at Healthy Henry County Communities (HHCC).
“Wellness Journey will focus on helping youth
achieve energy balance, which will include self-responsibility
for making healthy food and exercise choices,” explains
Albright. “We will provide age-appropriate education
through schools, youth service organizations and the community.”
According to Albright, the multi-faceted program will educate
students, parents and families about nutrition and exercise.
Wellness Journey will also include targeted outreach
to young at-risk parents as well as the Hispanic population.
Strategies will include mini-health fairs, education classes,
community events and a group mentoring program for middle
school youth. Train-the-trainer sessions on health education
topics will also be provided to collaborating agencies serving
Collaborating agencies and organizations include Iowa State
University Extension, the four school districts in Henry County,
New Iowans Center, Mt. Pleasant Park and Recreation Department,
and Mt. Pleasant Recreation Center. For more information on
Wellness Journey, contact Linda Albright at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wellmark Foundation has provided nearly $14.7 million
to fund 406 health-related grants in Iowa and South Dakota
since 1997, including $1,739,233 this cycle. “The Wellmark
Foundation collaborates with non-profit and governmental organizations
in Iowa and South Dakota to positively impact the health outcomes
of individuals and communities in our states,” says
Matthew McGarvey, director of The Wellmark Foundation. “We
are pleased to fund this grant that will support healthy lifestyle
choices and prevent obesity in youth,” says McGarvey.
The Wellmark Foundation is a private, non-profit foundation
created by Wellmark, Inc., doing business as Wellmark Blue
Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Due to the Foundation’s
recent significant support toward disaster relief efforts,
the timeline for the second 2008 community responsive grant
cycle has been modified. Letters of Interest (LOIs) are now
due on September 23, 2008. Learn more about this funding opportunity
during a grant applicant teleconference on July 21, 2008.
For teleconference and LOI details, visit the Foundation’s
Web site at www.wellmark.com/foundation.
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and The Wellmark Foundation
are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield