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Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health Awards Grants to Four Cities to Fight Childhood Obesity

October 3, 2013 – The High Five Children’s Health Collaborative, powered by the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health, awarded $750,000 to four Idaho cities to combat childhood obesity. The collaborative awarded an additional $90,000 to three cities as part of an Ambassador Program.

Grant recipients include Nampa ($300,000), Kuna ($150,000), Middleton ($150,000) and Lapwai ($150,000). High Five of Idaho will distribute funds over a three-year period to help fund resources and programs that drive sustainable change for healthier environments. The selection committee also recognized Moscow, Pocatello and Meridian for efforts to fight childhood obesity with two-year $30,000 grants as part of the Ambassador Program.

Each city created a video outlining health needs and ideas for reversing childhood obesity in their community, and encouraged residents to vote for the proposal on the Collaborative’s Facebook page.

The four winning communities will collaborate with the High Five team to develop and implement programs and policies proven to encourage better overall health, including the following:

  • Increased physical activity
  • Improved access to healthy and affordable foods
  • Healthier schools and childcare facilities
  • Parent education to help make healthier choices
  • Public policies that fight the cause of obesity

"We want to thank all the residents of each city for their engagement and support of your community,” said Kendra Witt-Doyle, Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health Manager. “Cities and towns across our state have a great role to play in combatting childhood obesity. Each finalist expressed a sincere passion for the children in their community and a desire to create environments for healthier lifestyles. We are ready to work with our winning cities to make positive changes in Idaho."

The High Five Children’s Health Collaborative has gained momentum since its launch, and has joined forces with associations, business, and communities to make childhood obesity a top health priority in Idaho and reverse its effects.

GONoodle

October 15, 2013- Treasure Valley students are getting a lot more active these days, thanks to a sponsorship of GoNoodle by Saint Alphonsus Health System and the High Five Children’s Health Collaborative, powered by Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health.

With childhood obesity still the leading health issue affecting children, the fact that many kids fall well below the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity, and research proving the benefits of physical activity on learning, Treasure Valley schools will be using GoNoodle, a new interactive resource designed to get kids up and moving during the school day. To date, Boise schools students using GoNoodle have achieved more than 6,000 minutes of desk-side activity in just one month!

GoNoodle brings a series of interactive physical activity breaks right into the classroom. Each physical activity break of GoNoodle is designed to provide students 3-5 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity right next to their desks. Research proves these short bursts of physical activity have positive health benefits and improve student engagement, behavior and achievement.

“Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic and educating children early in life about the necessity of physical activity, can play a powerful role in preventing obesity and its consequences”, said Sally Jeffcoat, CEO of the Saint Alphonsus Health System. Dave Jeppesen, Senior Vice President of sales and marketing at Blue Cross of Idaho added “That is why we are excited to sponsor GoNoodle and make it available to our southern Idaho school districts.”

One of the GoNoodle physical activity breaks, “Run With US”, features Olympians and Olympic caliber athletes leading students in virtual track and field events. Ashton Eaton, Gold Medalist in the Decathalon at the London Olympics in 2012, is one of 10 track and field stars featured in Run With US. Ashton will visit Treasure Valley-area elementary schools in-person on Wednesday, October 16 to lead students in GoNoodle physical activity breaks.

“As someone who has devoted my life and livelihood to being physically active, I'm proud to help share that passion with elementary school students across the country and hopefully inspire another generation with the benefits of being physically fit,” said Olympic Gold Medalist Ashton Eaton.

In addition to the track and field game, GoNoodle includes dancing, stretching, and even calming exercises, along with games that incorporate spelling, vocabulary and math with physical activity. Teachers can learn more about GoNoodle by visiting www.gonoodle.com.

About GoNoodle

GoNoodle is a research-based classroom resource for elementary teachers to improve student engagement and youth health through desk-side physical activity breaks. Helping to increase energy and focus while improving classroom behavior, GoNoodle can be played on an interactive whiteboard, projector or computer screen. GoNoodle is powered by HealthTeacher, Inc., the interactive leader in youth health. Learn more at gonoodle.com.

About Saint Alphonsus Health System

Saint Alphonsus is a 387-licensed bed regional medical center serving people throughout the Northwest. As a not-for-profit medical center, Saint Alphonsus reinvests profits back into the community and works to improve the health and well-being of those we serve by emphasizing care that is patient-centered, innovative and community based. Saint Alphonsus focuses on providing services in a spiritual, healing environment, and is renowned for its state-of-the-art digital environment and pioneering technologies; award-winning clinical services; and the region’s only Level II Trauma Center. Saint Alphonsus is part of Saint Alphonsus Health System, a four-hospital, 714-bed integrated healthcare system serving the full range of the health and wellness needs of the people in southwestern Idaho, eastern Oregon and northern Nevada. Saint Alphonsus Health System is a member of Trinity Health. For information about Saint Alphonsus, visit www.saintalphonsus.org.