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Press Release

Bucks County Fitness Trail Opens With Grant From Independence Blue Cross and the PA Dept. of Health

Charles Boehm Middle School one of 10 local schools to receive Active Schools funding

Philadelphia, PA - June 1, 2010 - Local students and community residents at a Bucks County school now have one more way to help them stay active and adopt healthier lifestyles with the opening of a new fitness trail in the Pennsbury school district.

A 20-station fitness trail officially opens today at Charles Boehm Middle School. The We-R-Fit Pennsbury Fitness Trail will be available for students during the school day and to the community during nonschool hours. School staff, community leaders, and others joined 200 seventh graders for the dedication and a student demonstration of some of the trail stations. 

The fitness trail was made possible through the Active Schools program, which was designed to promote fitness and curb childhood obesity in Pennsylvania. Charles Boehm Middle School, one of the 40 schools in the state to receive funding from the program, received a $5,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and a $10,000 grant from Independence Blue Cross.

"We are very pleased to partner with Charles Boehm  and the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education on this very important initiative to help students increase the exercise they get at school," said Frank Ferry, M.D., a medical director at Independence Blue Cross, who spoke at today's event. "Encouraging students to embrace exercise at an early age will help ensure a brighter, healthier, and more productive future for our children and our region."

The Active Schools program, launched in 2009, provides funds to selected middle schools in Pennsylvania to help them put in place programs to reduce childhood obesity and encourage students to engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day. Independence Blue Cross is one of six organizations statewide that have agreed to provide a 2:1 match to the Department of Health funds, making each school eligible for up to $15,000. The funding is part of the Independence Blue Cross's broader commitment to keeping kids healthy and preventing illness. For more information, read the 2009 press release announcing Independence Blue Cross's commitment to Active Schools.

About Independence Blue Cross

Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. Nationwide, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.3 million people. For more than 70 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross's HMO and PPO health care plans have consistently received the highest ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.