RICHMOND, Va., June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Bon Secours Virginia Health System has launched movin' mania™, a community wide effort to address childhood obesity, the leading health concern for children today. The health system gathered community partners and hundreds of area school children for a kickoff rally Thursday at the Science Museum of Virginia.
To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bon-secours-virginia-launches-childhood-obesity-program-movin-mania-159419335.html
movin' mania™ brings together health care providers, educators, business and government leaders and families to help Virginia children lead healthier, more productive lives. With the initiative, Bon Secours aims to provide education, awareness and a foundation for healthy habits to alleviate chronic disease in the next generation of Virginians.
"As a mission-driven health system, it is our responsibility to build healthy communities, and that starts with our children," said Peter J. Bernard, CEO of Bon Secours Virginia Health System. "Our goal with movin' mania™ is to collaborate with as many community organizations as possible to educate, empower and encourage the children of central Virginia to live healthy lives."
The program will reach approximately 100,000 children and their families in the home, at school and in communities throughout central Virginia.
"Movement toward alleviating the epidemic of childhood obesity in our country must begin at the local level," said Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. "This is a great opportunity for us to work together. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Million Hearts initiative enhances cardiovascular disease prevention activities that tie directly to obesity through a program of community and clinical prevention. Together these program strategies will make a difference in the lives of children for years to come."
movin' mania™ makes it fun for Virginia's youth to learn and practice healthier habits. The program includes online and offline components designed to educate and incentivize children and families to get active and choose more nutritious foods. The movin' mania™ interactive web portal offers games, healthy recipes and a calendar of fitness activities with special sections for kids and parents. Children can earn points for healthy choices and redeem them for prizes, such as entry fees to races and sports equipment. Additional program elements include an SOL-compliant classroom toolkit, as well as school and community events throughout the year, all building up to a movin' mania™ 5K Walk in the spring of 2013.
"The City of Richmond is proud to support movin' mania™," said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. "As part of our Healthy Richmond Initiative, we are engaging with partners across the city to increase opportunities for children and families to engage in physical activity and eat a healthier diet. movin' mania™ is a great way to encourage the next generation of Richmonders to take control of their health and future."
movin' mania™ has been designed and vetted by a team of Bon Secours physicians, nurses, nutritionists and exercise physiologists. A third-party organization will provide analytics to track, measure and evaluate program outcomes, such as number of children enrolled and healthy eating and exercise habits.
In Virginia, more than one-third (40 percent) of fourth-graders and nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of adults are either overweight or obese (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). A Gallup poll recently named Richmond the second fattest city in America. More than $1.6 billion is spent annually on obesity-related issues in Virginia, where overall rates have climbed 154 percent from 1990 to 2004 (Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth/CDC).
"The American Heart Association is thrilled to partner with Bon Secours and others to launch movin' mania™ and promote healthy lifestyles among Richmond-area families," says John Bing, executive director of the American Heart Association in Metro Richmond. "We know when programs like movin' mania™ engage parents and caregivers as 'agents of change' for preventing childhood obesity, desirable behaviors increase."
Through an active board and steering committees, Bon Secours is rallying support from numerous community partners across the business, government, media, education, food, exercise and health care sectors of Virginia. These community leaders join in an unprecedented effort to address childhood obesity in the Commonwealth.
For more information, please visit movinmania.com.
About Bon Secours Virginia Health System
Bon Secours Virginia provides good help to thousands of Virginians through a network of hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, ambulatory care sites and continuing care facilities across the Commonwealth. The not-for-profit health system employs about 12,000 people, including nearly 300 physicians as part of the Bon Secours Medical Group.
The fourth largest and only faith-based health system in Virginia, Bon Secours Virginia offers a full range of services including cardiac, women's, children's, orthopaedics, oncology, neurosciences and surgery at seven award-winning hospitals.
- Bon Secours Richmond is St. Mary's Hospital, Memorial Regional Medical Center, Richmond Community Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center.
- Bon Secours Hampton Roads is Maryview Medical Center, DePaul Medical Center and Mary Immaculate Hospital.
About Bon Secours Richmond Foundation
Bon Secours' ministry of providing good help to those in need is supported by the Bon Secours Richmond Foundation, which raises funds to create healthy communities, advance clinical innovation and provide an extraordinary experience of care.
Contact: Sarah Hogeboom
SOURCE Bon Secours Virginia Health System