Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation awards $75,000 grant to the NH CATCH Kids Club Project 

CONCORD – The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation has awarded a $75,000 grant to the Foundation for Healthy Communities for the NH CATCH Kids Club Project. CATCH Kids Club – CATCH being an acronym for “Coordinated Approach To Child  Health” – is a successful, evidence-based program promoting physical activity and  healthy eating among elementary school aged children in summer, after-school and  recreation programs statewide.

With support from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, the NH CATCH Kids Club Project has grown from its four original sites to include 109 locations in nine of New Hampshire’s 10 counties over the past five years.

“CATCH training has proven to be both a successful prevention strategy and a cost effective way to keep kids healthy out of school,” said Karen Voci, Executive Director, Harvard Pilgrim Foundation. “It makes great sense to sustain this outstanding program by embedding it within an organization that provides high-quality training for afterschool staff and directors.”

The grant money will assist with CATCH Kids Club programming efforts, including the development of a sustainability plan for the NH CATCH Kids Club project. Sustainability efforts will focus on a key goal of the project, that of integrating healthy eating and physical activity into the environments and policies of out-of-school organizations.

As part of this sustainability plan, the Foundation for Healthy Communities has embarked on a new partnership with ACROSS NH (A Comprehensive Resource for Out of Schooltime Staff). ACROSS NH provides statewide technical assistance and professional development opportunities to after school providers to support their work in creating high quality, innovative programs for school-aged children. “As an established and respected professional organization with a vast out-of-school network, we are excited to begin this partnership with ACROSS NH to ensure the sustainable growth and implementation of the CKC project in out-of school organizations,” said Beth Gustafson Wheeler, Director of Community Health with the FHC.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is a non-profit health plan with more than one million members in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation was created in 1980 to support the company’s mission of health improvement. After reviewing New England statistics on increased childhood obesity, the foundation launched Growing Up Healthy in 2007 as an information, leadership and program initiative to support healthy weight for children.

The Foundation for Healthy Communities is a nonprofit corporation that exists to improve health and health care in New Hampshire. The Foundation’s partnerships include hospitals, health plans, clinicians, home care agencies, public policy leaders, and other organizations. Learn more at www.healthyNH.com

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