On HealthCorps

Written by

Michelle Bouchard
Michelle Bouchard

Michelle Bouchard brings twenty years of experience in public/private partnerships to her position as the President of HealthCorps (www.healthcorps.org), the school and community-based wellness activism movement founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz.

As President, Ms. Bouchard oversees a staff of 52 people with an operating budget of $5 million that impacts about 75,000 people across 11 states. Prior to heading up HealthCorps, Ms. Bouchard served as the Chief Financial Officer of Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC), a public benefit corporation charged with the redevelopment of the former military base in New York Harbor. At GIPEC, Ms. Bouchard oversaw $35 million in operating funds and $140 million in capital funds.

Ms. Bouchard also co-founded two not-for-profit theatres in New York City, The 42nd Street Workshop (now the WorkShop Theater) and the New Group, serving as the primary producer in both cases. In the corporate world, Ms. Bouchard served as the special assistant to the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Hoovers Online and the covert director of competitive research for a historic software consortium, the REALM.

Ms. Bouchard has served on the Boards of Directors of several not-for-profits, including the New York State Theatre Institute, Youth Counseling League, and the 42nd Street Workshop.

She has testified in front of the US Senate HELP Committee on behalf of national service and has extensive media experience. She was chosen as a participant in the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC) 2010 by the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense. Ms. Bouchard graduated from Wellesley College ’84 with a BA in Political Science. She is a Native Texan and the mother of a 20-year-old son, Alex, and a 6-year-old daughter, Liberty. She is a member of the DAR, the Daughters of the Cincinnati and the Jamestown Society.

HealthCorps® (www.healthcorps.org), founded by heart surgeon and Emmy Award-winning talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz, is fighting the crises of child obesity and dearth of mental resilience, especially in Afro-American and Hispanic populations across the country. In addition, HealthCorps serves as a research vehicle for creating optimal health messaging.

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.

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