Mayor Johnson Joins Dr. Mehmet Oz, California Walnut Board in Launching of HealthCorps® in Sacramento

Oct 23, 2010, 06:00 ET from California Walnut Board

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Mayor Kevin Johnson joined Dr. Mehmet Oz at Luther Burbank High School for the launching of HealthCorps®, a proactive health movement founded and chaired by Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the Emmy Award-Winning nationally syndicated "The Dr. Oz Show" and vice-chair and professor of surgery at Columbia University Medical Center.



HealthCorps is successfully fighting the obesity and mental resilience crises by getting American students and their families to become health agents of change in communities across the country.  In partnership with the California Walnut Board, the program is now active in Sacramento.

"A city is only as strong as the health of its residents, which is why I am excited to have HealthCorps in Sacramento.  When it comes to educating our youth on the benefits of health, nutrition, and exercise, I believe HealthCorps will play a critical role in making our city known for its healthy students and active communities," said Mayor Johnson.

The partnership between HealthCorps and the California Walnut Board in Sacramento will positively impact approximately 3,000 students and numerous school staff, family and community members by providing for a HealthCorps Coordinator in both Luther Burbank Senior High School and Sacramento Charter High School.

Like a Peace Corps for Health, this health movement engages recent college graduates who defer entry into medical school or graduate health programs to participate in public service through a two-year, full-time assignment at a designated public high school.  HealthCorps also provides continuing professional development and activism opportunities to help Coordinators best serve their school communities.

"Thanks to HealthCorps teaching the importance of good nutrition, youth are learning how whole food snacks, such as walnuts, are not only healthful, but taste great.  We look forward to continuing this successful program in Sacramento," said Dennis A. Balint, executive director of the California Walnut Board.

The California Walnut Board supported the HealthCorps program in 2009 in two schools in Los Angeles:  Canoga Park High School and Ulysses S. Grant High School.  

"We are so fortunate to have the support of Mayor Johnson and the California Walnut Board, who recognize the value of educating youth in terms of nutrition, fitness and mental strength and are committed to America's health. With their support, we will reach even more communities in California with our in-school mentoring program," said Michelle Bouchard, president of HealthCorps.

Focused on three priorities, HealthCorps, with support from organizations like the California Walnut Board, educates the student body, achieves community outreach through "FitTown" – an initiative to connect and empower citizens and organizations to bring about awareness and affect change through local projects and initiatives; and advocates for policy shifts across all levels of government that put health and physical education back into the core curriculum of the American education system.

About California Walnut Board

The California walnut industry is made up of more than 4,600 walnut growers and more than 60 walnut handlers (processors).  The Walnut Marketing Board was established in 1948 to represent the walnut growers and handlers of California.  In April 2008, the Walnut Marketing Board became the California Walnut Board to provide origin designation to the product it represents.  The Board is funded by mandatory assessments of the handlers and is governed by a Federal Walnut Marketing Order.  The Board promotes usage of walnuts in the United States through publicity and educational programs, and also provides funding for walnut production and post-harvest research.  

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About HealthCorps®

The HealthCorps® proactive health movement includes an in-school educational and mentoring program in 41 schools in 11 states.  HealthCorps empowers students to become educated consumers and health activists who take their message to underserved communities with upbeat events, such as the month-long Healthy Steps virtual race using pedometers and the community-based "Highway to Health" Festivals.  The HealthCorps Board of Directors includes medical practitioners such as Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. David Katz (Yale), Dr. Michael Roizen (Cleveland Clinic), Dr. Brian Wansink (Cornell), Dr. Laura Berman, and many other renowned health experts.  Proceeds from funds raised are used to establish the HealthCorps curriculum in additional high schools across the country.  A 501(C)3 nonprofit organization, HealthCorps currently receives no Federal funding.  Total funding is garnered through a combination of state, city, private foundation, corporate and individual contributions.  

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SOURCE California Walnut Board