January 14, 2016
The CATCH Global Foundation has been named a recipient of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families (HFHK) grant program from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK); an initiative designed to improve the health and wellness of children and families through community investments by Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) and its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The Western Oklahoma CATCH Coordinated School Health Initiative and 12 month grant will begin this January and will bring CATCH to rural schools in Guymon and Carnegie, Oklahoma.
According to the Trust for America’s Health, more than 17 percent of children ages 10-17 are obese in Oklahoma, the 14th highest childhood obesity rate in the nation. In addition to their populations being at-risk due to socioeconomic status, Carnegie and Guymon Public School Districts serve high proportions of American Indian and Hispanic children and are both rural areas.
“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with the communities of Carnegie and Guymon to help them create a healthy environment that will impact children’s health for the long term,” said Duncan Van Dusen, Executive Director of CATCH Global Foundation. “This project is another installment in our ongoing work with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and will support hundreds of kids and families in making healthier lifestyle and nutrition choices.”
Since 2007, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has supported CATCH implementations in afterschool programs across the state, and began offering the program to elementary schools in 2015. Evaluation results from these efforts include an increase in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, a reduction in BMI percentile scores, decreased screen time and greater fruit and vegetable consumption.