Like a Peace Corps for health, HealthCorps targets physical and emotional health deficits in underserved communities through a unique proactive health movement that is empowering teens and their families to become health agents of change in their communities.
HealthCorps is focused on three priorities: educating the student body; achieving community outreach through “Fit Town™” – an initiative to connect and activate citizens and organizations to bring about awareness and affect change through local projects and initiatives; and advocating for policy shifts across all levels of government that put health and physical education back into the core curriculum of the American education system.
Every day HealthCorps is reaching teens through a mix of interactive classroom lessons, after school cooking and fitness clubs, the Teen Battle Chef nutritional cooking program and community outreach to extend the organization’s message to faculty, families and community members.
HealthCorps’ impact and efficacy was formally recognized in 2009 following a two-year independently conducted study. The research was carried out by the Affinity Health Plan of the Bronx and overseen by a methodologist from Cornell University.
The focus of the study was to quantify the impact of the HealthCorps program on a predominately Hispanic New York City intervention group. Results of the study found significant benefits of HealthCorps on three dimensions: sugary soda pop consumption decreases by 0.61 times per week; participants are 36% more likely to report that they are more physically active; participants score 10.7% higher on the test of health knowledge.
Both HealthCorps Chairman Dr. Oz and HealthCorps President Michelle Bouchard have appeared before the United States Senate’s Health Education Labor and Pension Committee in 2009 to discuss wellness policy and HealthCorps’ mission and achievements.
On the policy front, HealthCorps works closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Coordinators’ efforts are guided by the CDC’s School Health Index, which is carried out by a School Wellness Council comprised of students, faculty and community members.
Throughout Afro-American and Hispanic communities, HealthCorps is transforming the educational paradigm one school at a time by addressing the "Whole Child" and activating a student's mind, body and spirit to create a more vital life for themselves and their community. The organization is introducing young people to their true human nature as well as the natural world.