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Phoebe aims to teach children about healthful habits

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital CEO Joel Wernick on Wednesday announced a regional gift in recognition of the hospital's centennial anniversary that he says will benefit the health education of the region's children.

The hospital has partnered with HealthTeacher, a national organization focused on teaching children healthy habits through a K-12 health curriculum for teachers.

"Phoebe is pleased to join forces with HealthTeacher for this special community gift," Wernick said. "As a regional health care provider, we saw the need to invest in our most promising resource -- the children of our region."

Representatives from 17 school districts joined Wernick and other hospital officials as he announced the program would be provided for the next five years at no cost to the community.

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he Phoebe/HealthTeacher Youth Health Literacy Collaborative will benefit 17 counties and 117 schools by extending more than 300 comprehensive lesson plans organized around 10 health education topics defined by National Health Education Standards.

Lesson plans are aligned with national and state standards and include teaching steps and times, student activities, assessments, related lessons, cross-curricular alignments and background resources.

In addition to the classroom resources for educators and students, parents and families will receive a monthly newsletter on related health topics.

"This program is an upstream investment, one we anticipate will benefit families throughout our region," Wernick said. "By educating our children on healthy living, we are building a healthier future for Southwest Georgia."

The program was developed in 1999 by health educators and professionals with the goal of providing comprehensive online resources to make teaching good health habits easier in the classroom.

Today, HealthTeacher is used in all 50 states and 14 countries by more than 20,000 educators, school nurses, community organizers and parents.

The program will be administered by The Network of Trust School Health Program, a division of Phoebe that currently works with the Dougherty County School System to serve more than 17,000 school children.