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Highmark Foundation partners with Penn State PRO Wellness on Healthy Champions program

Highmark Foundation has awarded $80,000 to Penn State PRO Wellness to help fund the annual Healthy Champions signature program for the 2019-2020 academic year. Originally developed for schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Healthy Champions is a free program that assists school leaders with fostering an environment that helps teach youth and their families how to bring healthier choices to life.

“Through our Healthy Champions program, we work with schools to disseminate creative approaches to help build wellness into existing curricula,” said Dr. Deepa Sekhar, executive director of Penn State PRO Wellness. “Highmark Foundation’s support will allow PRO Wellness the opportunity to expand enrollment numbers to an anticipated 600 participating schools across Pennsylvania.”

“One of our goals at the Highmark Foundation is to support organizations, like Penn State PRO Wellness, that demonstrate effective results through programs focused on early intervention and prevention,” said Highmark Foundation President Yvonne Cook. “Supporting programs like Healthy Champions gives children a chance to build a healthy lifestyle, make healthier choices and avoid preventable chronic disease like diabetes. We are proud to partner with Penn State PRO Wellness on the expansion of this vital program.”

Healthy Champions enrollment is now open through June 30 for the 2019-2020 academic year. To enroll, schools complete a brief online assessment and will be recognized with a star status based on assessment results. At the start of the school year, Champions will receive a free All-Star toolkit with resources to help them set goals for attaining the next level star ranking in the following years. In addition to the All-Star toolkit, the first 150 schools enrolled will also receive a free Signature Event Kit valued at $50. The kit can be used to help host the four annual signature events that promote healthy food options and outdoor play. Learn more about the program and enroll your school by visiting

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