NEW ORLEANS - The Humana Foundation has awarded Ochsner's "Change the Kids, Change the Future" program a $100,000 grant which Ochsner will use to expand its healthy initiatives within the Jefferson Parish School System; specifically, conducting a year-long assessment of current physical activity and nutrition programs in schools and documenting successful, state-wide "best practices" programs such as Bissonet Plaza Elementary which include programs such as student tasting days, morning walk/run programs open to parents and the mile club.
• Representatives from The Humana Foundation will host a brief check presentation on Friday, May 14 at 9:00am at the Bonnabel Magnet Academy School-Based Health Center, 2801 Bruin Dr., Kenner.
• All representatives will then visit Bissonet Plaza Elementary, 6818 Kawanee Ave., Metairie, at 1:00pm to highlight some of the school's best practices with the hopes of replicating these throughout the school system to improve students' overall health.
Bissonet Plaza Elementary was recently selected as a recipient of the annual School Health Award for the 2008-2009 school year by the Louisiana Department of Education. The School Health Award recognizes activities that encourage students to develop lifelong healthful eating and physical activity habits and Bissonet's innovative health program will now be featured as a best practice in Louisiana.
"At The Humana Foundation, our goal is to support strategies that result in healthier children and families," said Virginia Kelly Judd, Executive Director of The Humana Foundation. "We are delighted to sponsor Ochsner's ‘Change the Kids, Change the Future' initiative and its outcomes-based approach to promote healthy children and healthy schools."
"As a business leader, Ochsner can help ensure our children's strong future by supporting local schools in creating healthier bodies and minds. The support of The Humana Foundation will enable us to further support the cultural changes needed to further our mission," says Dr. Pat Quinlan, CEO, Ochsner Health System.
"We are very proud to enhance our partnership with Ochsner through this grant from Humana," said Dr. Diane Roussel, Superintendent of the Jefferson Parish Public School System. "We know that there is a correlation between good health and academic achievement and we're excited to be able to help other schools replicate Bissonet's success."
About The Humana Foundation (www.HumanaFoundation.org), established in 1981, is the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., one of the nation's leading health-benefits companies. The Foundation is located in Louisville, Ky., the site of Humana's corporate headquarters. The Foundation's mission is to support charitable activities that promote healthy lives and healthy communities.
About The Jefferson Parish Public School System (www.jppss.k12.la.us) is the second largest district in the state of Louisiana and is nationally ranked in the top 100 for student enrollment. There are 86 schools located on the east and west banks of Jefferson Parish with a total enrollment of more than 43,000 students. Employees total more than 6,200, of which almost 3,000 are teachers. 96% of the school district's teachers are state certified and 123 teachers are nationally board certified, which is the highest in the state.
About Ochsner Health System (www.ochsner.org) is southeast Louisiana's largest non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system with eight hospitals and over 38 health centers in Louisiana. Ochsner employs more than 12,000 employees, over 750 physicians in 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts over 300 clinical research trials annually.