MDwise launches fitness program for local elementary school students

Battle of the Fit promotes physical activity, health and wellness in effort to combat childhood obesity

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – MDwise, Indiana’s only not-for-profit managed health care organization serving those on the state’s Hoosier Healthwise, Healthy Indiana Plan and Care Select health coverage programs, announces the launch of Battle of the Fit, a unique fitness program that has a direct impact on students in public elementary schools in Indiana.
Kicking off next week, the Battle of the Fit pilot program features three Indianapolis public schools – James A. Garfield Elementary School 31, Brookside Elementary School 54 and Paul I. Miller Elementary School 114 – all competing for the title of “Fittest School,” as well as monetary prizes of $6,000 for the winning school, $3,000 for second place and $2,000 for third place, to be used towards the purchase of fitness-related equipment.
Battle of the Fit, a 12-week program, requires participating schools to organize regular fitness activities for students to participate in for the duration of the program, including general exercise activities, sports, games and dance-related activities. Students will earn points for doing activities and MDwise encourages students and parents to track their progress online throughout the competition on a specially designed website. The organization also plans to hold motivational visits at each school in an effort to build momentum, keep kids motivated, and give away additional prizes. At the end of the program, the school with the most points will win the competition.
“Our goal in developing the Battle of the Fit program was to create a healthy and friendly competition between schools to vie for the title of ‘Fittest School’ which will hopefully encourage other schools to set the same goal in future years,” said Dr. Caroline Carney Doebbeling, chief medical officer for MDwise. “The most recent statistics show that the number of overweight and obese kids continues to rise and is up to nearly 30 percent in Indiana. Over half of that 30 percent are obese.”
"We are always looking for ways at Brookside Elementary to help students improve both intellectually and physically,” said Julie Bakehorn, principal of Brookside Elementary School 54. “Helping students get fit and stay fit is a top priority for not only our physical education department, but for all of our staff. We look forward to working with the Battle of the Fit program and winning the $6,000!"
For more information about the Battle of the Fit program, please visit

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About MDwise

MDwise is a provider-sponsored nonprofit health maintenance organization offering health care benefits to more than 407,000 Medicaid and Medicare members. Since 1994 MDwise has provided access to compassionate, high-quality, coordinated health care and education to Medicaid members in communities throughout Indiana. Ninety-seven percent of MDwise members surveyed would recommend MDwise to family and friends.

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