Healthy Futures program gets an assist from the Cleveland Cavaliers
Professional athletes know how important it is to stay healthy. So it’s not a big stretch for a basketball team to take an interest in a program designed to keep kids healthy.
The Cavaliers Youth Fund, a fund of the McCormick Foundation, supports programs designed to have a positive impact on young people in the areas of education, recreation, and employment and life skills, with a particular emphasis on at-risk youth. The McCormick Foundation matches all funds raised by the Cavaliers Youth Fund at a significant percentage, increasing the dollar amount of grants to worthwhile agencies.
This year, the fund provided a $50,000 grant to Healthy Futures, a program developed by Paul Gubanich, MD, MPH, of the Cleveland Clinic Sports Health Center in the Orthopaedic & Rheumatologic Institute.
The 10-week curriculum targets fourth- through sixth-grade students. The goal is to encourage students, parents and family members to make healthier food choices, develop a positive attitude about nutrition and exercise, and cultivate a good self-image. The program also teaches the risks of alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
Students attend weekly 30-minute classroom sessions taught by trained Healthy Futures instructors, who are volunteer medical professionals (physicians, nurses, residents and fellows) and medical and nursing students from Cleveland Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and Case Western Reserve University.
The program aligns well with the interests of the Cleveland Cavaliers. “Obviously we feel that initiative is extremely important,” says Colleen Garrity, Director, Community Relations for the team. “Health is part of our business. The program fits perfectly with what our organization does and is.”
Ms. Garrity says she’s impressed that Dr. Gubanich and his team track the kids’ progress as they learn to eat more healthfully and exercise more.
The Cavs, she says, want “children hearing that message and living long and healthy lives.”
To make a gift supporting the Orthopaedic & Rheumatologic Institute or any area of Cleveland Clinic, visit our secure online giving site, or call Institutional Relations and Development at 216.444.1245 or toll-free at 800.223.2273, ext. 41245.