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Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce to team up to battle childhood obesity

Posted by Christina Jedra  April 12, 2013 10:00 AM

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The following was submitted by Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications: 

The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation is partnering with the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) to raise awareness of childhood obesity and highlight the community’s role in eliminating this pervasive health problem.  The collaboration was announced on Thursday, April 4, at the Chamber’s annual scholarship luncheon attended by members of Burlington’s business and education communities.

Karen Voci, Executive Director of the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation, presented a $5,000 matching grant to BACC President & CEO, Jim Murphy, and board chair, Sonia Rollins, who accepted the contribution on behalf of the Chamber’s Charitable Foundation.

According to Voci, the grant is designed to support the creation and implementation of programs that will encourage healthy eating and physical activity among Burlington’s children.  “Experience confirms that business and civic leaders play a crucial role in developing, promoting and sustaining initiatives that benefit their communities.  We believe this grant will inspire those who live and work in the area to come together to improve the health and well-being of Burlington’s children,” said Voci.

The Harvard Pilgrim Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and funds initiatives in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire, designed to prevent and combat childhood obesity and encourage healthy lifestyles.  Foundation-funded programs work with parents, caregivers and educators to make healthy eating and physical activity more accessible for children on a daily basis.  This grant to the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce is the first The Foundation has awarded in the interest of engaging the business community. 

Dr. Christina Economos, Vice Chair and Director of ChildObesity180 and Associate Professor at Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and School of Medicine at Tufts University was the event’s keynote speaker at the Chamber’s luncheon. Supported by a grant from the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation, ChildObesity180, in collaboration with Tufts University, comprises a team of national experts and thought leaders from all sectors—public, nonprofit, academic and private—who have developed an innovative and multifaceted approach to reversing childhood obesity.  

About the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation
Created in 1980, the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation supports Harvard Pilgrim's mission to improve the quality and value of health care for the people and communities we serve by providing the tools, training and leadership to help build healthy communities throughout New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine.  Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $125 million in funds.  In 2012, the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation awarded more than $2 million in grants to almost 1,000 nonprofit organizations within the three states.  For more information, please visit www.harvardpilgrim.org/foundation.

About the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce
The Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) is the primary business association serving Burlington, Massachusetts and its surrounding communities.  First established as the Burlington Business Round Table in 1983, the BACC serves both large and small companies to enhance and strengthen business and is pro-active in addressing public policy issues through its Government Affairs Committee. To further the Chamber’s support for charitable programs in the greater Burlington area, its Board of Directors founded a not-for-profit 501(C)3 corporation, the BACC Charitable Foundation, Inc. in 2013.  The BACC is committed to helping Burlington area businesses achieve success and strengthen connections between locally operated businesses and the community. For more information on the BACC, visit www.baccma.org, or call 781-273-2523.

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