MINNEAPOLIS--()--Can a lifelong commitment to health begin in elementary school? Ten elementary schools in Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities have the opportunity to answer that question as they participate in a novel partnership with Allina Health. The schools have been selected as School Health ConnectionTM sites for the 2012–13 school year, which includes $10,000 grants for each school to promote healthy activities.
“Young people who engage in healthy activities get better grades and feel better about themselves”
School Health ConnectionTM will provide these schools with direct access to Allina Health caregivers, including a consulting physician from a nearby Allina Health clinic who will help school staff respond to health issues affecting their school. The program will also provide online learning tools, teacher training and a health fair for the entire school community that will be based at each school. This event will also include health screenings for teachers and parents as a means to model healthy behavior for children.
"Building a culture of good health is an important part of our mission, and getting our young people engaged early is crucial to that endeavor,” said Kenneth H. Paulus, president and CEO of Allina Health. “The partnership of neighborhood caregivers with neighborhood schools is long overdue. We have some serious work to do to turn back the growing tide of obesity in our communities, and time is of the essence.”
The 10 selected schools are:
- Braham Elementary, Braham, MN
- Lafayette Charter School, Lafayette, MN
- Lakes International Language Academy, Forest Lake, MN
- Lincoln Center Elementary School, South St. Paul, MN
- Loring Community School, Minneapolis, MN
- Park Brook Elementary School, Brooklyn Park, MN
- Parkside Elementary School, Buffalo, MN
- St. Bridget Parish School, River Falls, WI
- Shakopee Area Catholic School, Shakopee, MN
- Wilson Elementary School, Owatonna, MN
"Young people who engage in healthy activities get better grades and feel better about themselves,” said Michael Marshall, MD, president of Allina Clinics. “Schools can play a critical role in helping establish those healthy behaviors that lead to academic — and lifelong — success. The schools we selected are committed to using the resources we provide to not only enhance the health and fitness of their students, but also to engage the families of their students — making this a true community health improvement effort."
The 10 selected elementary schools were chosen through a competitive application process. More than 80 schools submitted applications.
About Allina Health
Allina Health (formerly Allina Hospitals & Clinics) is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 11 hospitals, 15 pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services that provide hospice care, oxygen and home medical equipment, and emergency medical transportation services. Learn more at allinahealth.org.