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October 2, 2015

Chelsea Clinton, Jillian Michaels and Leading Health Advocates Honor the Nation’s Healthiest Schools, Companies and Community Organizations

Alliance for a Healthier Generation Celebrates 10 Years of Progress in Fighting Childhood Obesity at Annual Leaders Summit

(Washington, D.C.) October 2, 2015 – In celebration of its founding by the American Heart Association and Clinton Foundation in 2005, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation will recognize hundreds of the nation’s leading schools, industry leaders, corporate partners and out-of-school time programs at its annual Leaders Summit this weekend in Washington, D.C.

Ten years ago the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association partnered to address one of the most important issues facing the United States, childhood obesity, which can lead to grave health consequences. The result of that partnership, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, is celebrating 10 years of creating healthier environments for more than 20 million children across the country.

“It’s an honor to recognize a record-number of schools who are at the forefront of the fight against childhood obesity,” said Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation. “The seed that was planted a decade ago when the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association joined together has grown into a thriving program that is truly building a healthier generation.”

The Alliance’s 2015 Leaders Summit will spotlight the decade of impact the organization has had on reducing childhood obesity including the 376 schools receiving the Alliance’s National Healthy Schools Awards, including 10 Gold-level schools, the highest number ever in the Alliance’s history.

“We are seeing promising signs that childhood obesity rates, though still far too high, are leveling off in certain populations. I’m proud to recognize the incredible work of our nation’s schools, corporations and community organizations who are working with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to make our childrens' health a priority,” says Mark Creager, M.D., President of the American Heart Association and Director, Heart and Vascular Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Honoring the Healthiest Schools in the Country

The Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program is the nation’s largest school-based childhood obesity prevention initiative, reaching more than 17 million students by working with more than 30,000 schools,

The 376 schools being recognized at the 2015 Leaders Summit have distinguished themselves with healthy eating and physical activity programs and policies that meet or exceed stringent standards set by the Healthy Schools Program.

Schools are eligible for National Healthy Schools Awards at the Bronze, Silver, or Gold level, based on the standards they achieve, and all recognized schools also achieve national recognition with Let’s Move! Active Schools.

“Research tells us that healthy students learn better-- performing better on tests, getting better grades, attending school more often and behaving better in class,” said Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “The award-winning schools should be applauded for making the health of their students and the future of our nation a priority.”

The award-winning schools come from 31 states, and more than 75 percent serve high-need student populations (defined as more than 40 percent of students qualifying for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program). This year, the Alliance is awarding Gold-level recognition to 10 schools, the highest number ever in the Alliance’s history in a single year. The Gold-level award-winning schools include:

  • Atherton Elementary School, Burton, MI
  • Beech Bluff Elementary School, Beech Bluff, TN
  • Bluff Park Elementary School, Hoover, AL
  • DeSoto Trail Elementary School, Tallahassee, FL
  • Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School, New York, NY
  • James Bowie Elementary School, Dallas, TX
  • John M. Sexton Elementary School, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Margaret B. Henderson Elementary School, Dallas, TX
  • South Elementary School, Pinson, TN
  • Spout Springs School of Enrichment, Flowery Branch, GA

Evidence of the effectiveness of the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program was published by the CDC in Preventing Chronic Disease in May 2015, which found that meaningful participation in the Program is linked to reductions in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among students in high-need schools.

“Building a Culture of Health in the United States starts with quality schools for our kids, and I commend this year’s honorees for their commitment to make the healthy choice the easy choice for their students,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Providing nutritious food and regular physical activity at school will help all kids grow up at a healthy weight and build healthy habits that last a lifetime.”

The Alliance launched its Healthy Schools Program in 2006 with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Today, the Program’s work with more than 30,000 schools nationwide is supported by Desert Healthcare Foundation, Health Foundation of South Florida, The JPB Foundation, Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation, Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation, PKF Consulting USA, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Saint Luke’s Foundation, Sanofi, and United Way of Greater Cleveland.

Healthier Generation Hero Awardees

Each year, the Alliance honors the enormously important role companies, community organizations and individuals play in improving the lives of our nation’s children through its Healthier Generation Hero Awards. 

The 2015 Healthier Generation Corporate Hero Award is being presented to Kaiser Permanente for its extraordinary effort to be part of the solution to the childhood obesity epidemic, industry leadership in promoting evidenced-based public health solutions and innovation in creating and fostering positive change on behalf of children’s health.

Specifically, the Alliance is recognizing Kaiser Permanente’s focus on improving the health and wellness of students, staff and teachers in K-12 schools through its Thriving Schools initiative. By taking an integrated approach that focuses on all environments throughout the community, Kaiser Permanente is able to ensure that children have the healthiest opportunities available—reaching more than 230,000 students in 335 schools across 21 school districts throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Maryland,

Virginia and Washington, D.C. Kaiser Permanente is at the forefront of preventative health, creating a culture of health and wellness for the communities, individuals and families it serves. The award will be accepted at the 2015 Leaders Summit by Kaiser Permanente Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bernard J. Tyson.

Recipients of the Alliance’s Healthy Out-of-School Time Hero Award are: Target Excellence at John D. Sloat Elementary School in Sacramento, CA and Concerned African Women, Inc., at Norland Elementary School in Miami, FL.

Target Excellence was created to teach students and families how to live healthier lives. Working hand-in-hand with the Alliance’s Healthy Out-of-School Time Initiative, the campaign’s goal was to empower students with the knowledge and ability to act as agents of change in their homes, encouraging their families to make healthier choices around food and fitness. As part of the campaign, students were asked to make a daily commitment to getting 60 minutes of physical activity at school (in addition to fitness challenges at home), eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables and replacing sugary drinks with water. The staff also pledged to model healthy eating behaviors with students by drinking only water and eating healthy snacks while interacting with students. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s work in Sacramento is generously supported by the Walmart Foundation. 

By partnering with the Alliance’s Healthy Out-of-School Time Initiative, Concerned African Women, Inc., has created a healthier environment for the more than 100 children, staff and parents who come through the doors of Miami’s Norland Elementary School each afternoon. To improve the healthfulness of the snacks children bring from home, Concerned African Women, Inc., introduced a new healthy food policy during family orientation and included the policy in the summer program manual. Families were asked to sign the policy, acknowledging that they read and understood its implications for the nutritional value of the foods their children brought from home. The organization also created a process for addressing foods that did not meet the policy, explaining the importance of setting a healthy example for all students during out-of-school time. The Walmart Foundation and Health Foundation of South Florida support the Alliance’s work with out-of-school time providers in Miami.

2015 Leaders Summit

The invitation-only festivities will be in Washington, D.C. October 2nd and 3rd. Chelsea Clinton will be the featured speaker from the Clinton Foundation. She will be joined by American Heart Association leaders Nancy Brown, CEO, and Mark Creager, M.D., president.

Additional featured speakers confirmed to attend include:

  • Joy Bauer, Nutrition/Health Expert, NBC's TODAY Show
  • Bonnie Bernstein, veteran Sports Journalist
  • Jason Collins, Retired NBA Player
  • Pam S. Dickson, Associate Vice President, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Helena Bottemiller Evich, Reporter, POLITICO
  • Jillian Michaels, Health and Wellness Expert
  • Caitlin Morris, North America Executive Director, Global Community Impact, Nike, Inc.
  • Howell Wechsler, CEO, Alliance for a Healthier Generation
  • Dr. Katie Wilson, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Margo Wootan, ‎Director, Nutrition Policy at Center for Science in the Public Interest

Organizations providing support for the 2015 Leaders Summit include: the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NutriBullet, Sanofi, Kaiser Permanente, SPARK, a division of School Specialty, Inc., GoNoodle Inc., NIKE, Inc., and Gopher Sport.



About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, empowers kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. The Alliance works with schools, companies, community organizations, healthcare professionals and families to build healthier environments for millions of children. To learn more and join the movement, visit HealthierGeneration.org

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Clinton Foundation

The Clinton Foundation convenes businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for girls and women, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change. Because of our work, more than 30,000 American schools are providing kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; more than 85,000 farmers in Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania are benefiting from climate-smart agronomic training, higher yields, and increased market access; more than 33,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced annually across the United States; over 350,000 people have been impacted through market opportunities created by social enterprises in Latin America, the Caribbean, and South Asia; through the independent Clinton Health Access Initiative, 9.9 million people in more than 70 countries have access to CHAI-negotiated prices for HIV/AIDS medications; 75 million people are benefiting from disease prevention efforts and investments in the U.S.; and members of the Clinton Global Initiative community have made more than 3,400 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries. Learn more at www.clintonfoundation.org, on Facebook at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.