Press Releases: 2011
Phila. Basketball Legends to Coach Kids on how to Beat Childhood Asthma, Weight Issues through Healthy Hoops
November 10, 2011
Keystone Mercy Health Plan’s award-winning Healthy Hoops program, which uses basketball to bring health education to children living with asthma and weight management issues, will be on the court again on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011, with a lineup of Philadelphia basketball legends to instruct the kids.
The event, held in collaboration with Impact Services Corp. and co-sponsored by The Salvation Army, AstraZeneca, and the Urban Affairs Coalition, will tip-off at 9:30 a.m. and go until the final buzzer at 1:30 p.m. at The Salvation Army gym located at 1920 E. Allegheny Ave. in Philadelphia.
Following a series of free health screenings for the children, Sonny Hill, Speedy Morris, Bill Fox and Jimmie Baker will take to the court to coach the kids ages 3 to 15 on basketball and staying healthy.
The hoops action will begin at noon and it will be preceded at 9:30 a.m. by the screenings for height/weight/BMI and food pyramids; an asthma action plan; blood pressure; spirometry/peak flow; and health education.
'Healthy Hoops is always a fun day for the kids, but it carries the serious message that they have to take steps to manage their asthma and weight, particularly through regular exercise like playing basketball,' said Maria Pajil Battle, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Marketing for Keystone Mercy.
Studies have shown that 50 to 80 percent of children who have asthma developed symptoms before their fifth birthday. Children four years old or younger have the highest rates of hospitalization (59 per 10,000) and emergency room use (162 per 10,000) due to asthma — the highest of any age group.
Once Healthy Hoops proved to be a success following its start in Philadelphia in 2003, the AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies expanded the initiative to other parts of the country, including South Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky, Florida and Georgia with more than 8,000 children and their families participating.
About Keystone Mercy Health Plan
Keystone Mercy Health Plan, a member of the AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies, is a Medical Assistance (Medicaid) managed care health plan serving more than 300,000 Medical Assistance recipients in southeastern Pennsylvania. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Keystone Mercy is a mission-driven company dedicated to helping members get care, stay well and build healthy communities. For more information about Keystone Mercy Health Plan, please visit www.keystonemercy.com.
For more information, contact Keystone Mercy at 215-937-8648.