Terre Haute elementary schools participating in unique fitness program

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

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – MDwise, Indiana’s only nonprofit 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 its Battle of the Fit program at West Vigo, Benjamin Franklin and Ouabache Elementary schools.
Starting today, these three schools will be 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 toward the purchase of fitness-related equipment.
In its second year, the eight-week Battle of the Fit program requires participating schools to organize regular fitness activities for students to participate in for the duration of the program, including general exercise, sports, games and dance-related activities. These activities will be incorporated into the school day in places where physical activity currently does not exist. Students will earn points for being active and MDwise encourages students and parents to track their school’s progress online throughout the competition on a specially designed website. The organization will also 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.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with these Terre Haute schools to implement a healthy and friendly competition encouraging wellness and physical activity,” said Dr. Caroline Carney Doebbeling, chief medical officer for MDwise. “When we launched Battle of the Fit last year in Indianapolis, we were hopeful it would be well received so we could expand the program to other areas, and we’re happy to say that it was. Childhood obesity continues to rise. In fact, recent studies show nearly 30 percent of children in Indiana are overweight or obese. We’re excited that these Terre Haute schools recognize this problem and are ready to proactively fight it.” 
“Physical education continues to be a priority at West Vigo Elementary as we believe there is a direct correlation between physical activity and intellectual stimulation,” said Peggy Pfrank, principal at West Vigo. “When MDwise presented us with the Battle of the Fit program, we saw it as a great opportunity to help our students get fit and stay fit and show them that wellness can be fun.”
For more information about the Battle of the Fit program, please visit BattleoftheFit.MDwise.org.

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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. MDwise.org.

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