March 16, 2012
Center, a service of Parrish Medical Center, has received a $100,000 grant from
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida
Foundation (BCBSF Foundation). The two-year grant will enable the CATCH
(Coordinated Approach to Child Health) Early Childhood program to be
implemented throughout Brevard County. CATCH Early Childhood is a
preschool-based healthy nutrition and physical activity program that directly
addresses the childhood obesity epidemic by providing an environment where
physical activity, health education, gardening and healthy eating behaviors are
valued and taught.
support from collaborating partners, Brevard Public Schools and the Early
Learning Coalition of Brevard, the evidence-based program will promote healthy
lifestyle habits in up to 2,500 preschool children and their families within
the two-year project.
Early Childhood program was chosen as a part of the overall wellness plan for
the children receiving services at The Children’s Center as it fits within the
vision—to build strong families for life—as well as the vision of
lead agency Parrish Medical Center, Healing Families— Healing Communities®.
healthy habits in the early years is crucial to childhood development and
long-term health and wellness. “Young children learn through play. This project
will integrate healthy behaviors into everyday routines and activities, both in
the preschool environment and at home, ultimately leading to a healthier
community,” states Lori Duester, Children’s Center manager and project
Embrace a Healthy Florida childhood obesity initiative, the BCBSF Foundation is
addressing the causes of childhood obesity through community engagement in six
communities across Florida and through grants to support promising practices
and applied research.
statistics indicate that childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years.
This troubling trend is documented in Florida, too,” said Susan B. Towler, vice
president, BCBSF Foundation. “We are excited to partner with The Children’s
Center to eliminate this widespread threat to children, families, communities
and the healthcare system,” said Towler.
Children's Center, an affiliate of Parrish Medical Center and located at
5650 South Washington Ave. in Titusville,
offers a variety of learning and early development programs for area children.
The Children’s Center consists of six local partner agencies working together
to meet the needs of children of all abilities. The Center annually serves
nearly 1,300 children and their families. Visit The Children's Center online at
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation is a separate, philanthropic
affiliate of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF) incorporated in the
state of Florida. The BCBSF Foundation, and its parent, BCBSF, are independent
licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of
independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information on the
BCBSF Foundation, please visit its Web site at www.bluefoundationfl.com
or for more information on the childhood obesity initiative, visit www.embraceahealthyfl.org .