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TMH Foundation Funds Program at VisionWay Christian School to Improve Students’ Health

The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation provided a grant to VisionWay Christian School to encourage students to increase their physical activity and make healthy food choices.

The Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH) program is an evidence-based school health program, which promotes behavior changes in children that can last for their lifetimes.

The nearly $8,000 grant paid for the CATCH program curriculum, PE equipment and coordinated materials for the school’s students, from preschool to eighth-grade. CATCH will also be taught to the students in VisionWay’s aftercare program.

“We are excited to bring this amazing program to Christian County and so pleased that VisionWay has agreed to serve as our pilot school to implement the CATCH tools,” said the foundation’s executive director, Raedena Ryan.

SIU’s Rural Health Department collaborated with the foundation to provide the official CATCH launch and training to the school’s staff on Friday, Aug. 17, at VisionWay.

“We are thrilled to begin the next school year with the CATCH program here at VisionWay,” said VisionWay Christian School’s administrator, Glenna Tolliver. “We look forward to implementing this whole school approach to encourage students to establish healthy habits that they will take with them for the rest of their lives.”

Implementation of the CATCH program grew out of the 2015 community health needs assessment conducted by Taylorville Memorial Hospital and the Christian County Health Department. Nonprofit hospitals must complete the assessment every three years as a requirement of the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Hospitals provide their reports to the Internal Revenue Service.

The assessment identified obesity as a significant concern for Christian County residents, with statistics showing that 69 percent of Christian County adults are classified as overweight or obese.

Schools and organizations that would like more information on how to earn a community health outreach grant and implement the CATCH program can call Ryan at 217-824-1651.

The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation is a nonprofit, incorporated as a 501(c)3 and organized in 1995. The foundation invites and accepts financial gifts to help further the mission of Taylorville Memorial Hospital. For more information, call the foundation office at 217-824-1651 or visit TaylorvilleMemorial.org.

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