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IU Health Employees to Attack Obesity During Statewide Day of Community Service

| Indianapolis—Studies show that the arteries of obese children resemble those of a middle-aged adult. Sadly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note 14 percent of Hoosier 2-to-5-year-olds are obese and that number balloons to 27 percent for adults.

Indiana University Health, the state’s most comprehensive healthcare provider, has launched a series of innovative efforts to combat obesity — particularly among the city’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. On Friday, at this year’s Day of Community Service, more than 1,500 IU Health employee volunteers will join the fight by increasing access to active places to play and fresh nutritious foods for low-income school children across Indiana.

With the assistance of KaBOOM!, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit focused on saving play, IU Health will build three KABOOM! playgrounds – two at Indianapolis Public Schools buildings and a third at Third Street Park in Bloomington, plus enhance 11 additional school playgrounds throughout the state by adding fitness paths, new playground equipment and school gardens.

“The IU Health team embraces this opportunity to trade surgical scrubs for garden gloves and serve our communities in a different way, beyond the expert clinical care we provide on a daily basis,” said Daniel F. Evans, president & CEO of Indiana University Health. “Our annual day of service is one part of our larger commitment to combat adolescent obesity. Across the state, we will be working to ensure young Hoosiers have access to safe places to play and exercise.”

IU Health’s employee volunteer program, Strength That Cares, launched in April 2009 to build a system-wide culture of volunteerism and community service among employees. To date, more than 7,000 employees have engaged in the program which regularly supplies service opportunities that support the needs of IU Health communities and enhance the quality of life for those who live in them.

“KaBOOM! is thrilled to partner with IU Health on such a comprehensive volunteer service program that will drastically improve the playground landscape across the state,” said Jim Hunn, KaBOOM! Vice President of Mass Action. “With more than 1,500 volunteers working on projects primarily organized by online KaBOOM! tools, this speaks to the enormous potential of turning online engagement into offline action as well as the commitment of IU Health to improving communities throughout Indiana.”

Every day, IU Health positively impacts the statewide community by carrying out its mission through clinical care, education, research and service. In 2009, IU Health contributed nearly $500 million through its community investment and outreach activities, impacting more than 500,000 Hoosiers.

PHOTO AND VIDEO OPPORTUNITIES
IU Health Day of Community Service — Volunteer Locations (INDIANAPOLIS)
The following list provides information on where IU Health employee volunteers in the Indianapolis-area can be found during IU Health’s Day of Community Service. In addition to Indianapolis, IU Health volunteers will be active in more than 10 cities across the state including: Sheridan, Avon, Lafayette, Tipton, Muncie, Bloomington, Bedford, Paoli, LaPorte and Knox.

May 20
8 am – 2 pm
Center for Inquiry at IPS #27
545 East 19th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
(Volunteers will build a new KaBOOM! playground.)

9:30 am – 3:30 pm
IPS #96 Meredith Nicholson Elementary
3651 N. Kiel Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46224
(Volunteers will build a new KaBOOM! playground.)

8 am – 4 pm
IPS #43 James Whitcomb Riley Elementary
150 W. 40th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46208
(Volunteers will actively enhance the existing playspace.)

For more information, contact Kristofer Karol at 317.962.4589.

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About Indiana University Health Named among the “Best Hospitals in America” by U.S. News & World Report for 13 consecutive years, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent, patient-centered care. A unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine – one of the nation’s leading medical schools – gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology. Every day, IU Health positively impacts the statewide community by carrying out its mission through innovation and excellence in clinical care, education, research and service. Annually, IU Health contributes approximately $500 million through its community investment and outreach activities, impacting more than 500,000 Hoosiers.

About KaBOOM! KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Because all children deserve to be active and healthy, KaBOOM! works to ensure that every child in America has a great place to play within walking distance. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together businesses and communities to construct more than 1,900 new places to play across North America. KaBOOM! also fights the Play Deficit with online tools that empower communities to join the movement to save play. The KaBOOM! website, kaboom.org, allows communities to self-organize and take action to support play on a both a local and national level.
 

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