Browse Month

February 2015

Jason Witten’s Score Foundation & UHC bring Play.Move.SCORE Youth Program to Oak Cliff

Jason Witten Foundation

Dallas Cowboys All-Pro tight end Jason Witten and his SCORE Foundation have teamed up again with UnitedHealthcare to fight childhood obesity and encourage healthy lifestyles in North Texas – this time at the Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club. The kids got to enjoy a celebratory lunch with one of the Cowboys’ most beloved players.

The program partners unveiled a newly-remodeled teen activity room at the Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club in February, which will house the Play.Move.SCORE. youth health and fitness program. The teen room received a full makeover, including new paint, furniture, flooring and blinds. The room is also equipped with a new sound and Xbox Connect gaming system to encourage the teens to have fun and get moving.

“UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to work with Jason Witten, the SCORE Foundation and the Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club to makeover the teen room and enhance Club facilities,” said Tom Quirk, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Texas. “We hope club members will be inspired to take charge of their health and well-being and learn that being fit can be fun.”

Jason Witten’s SCORE Foundation and UnitedHealthcare launched the Play.Move.SCORE. program in 2010. Since that time, the partners have donated a virtual personal training computer system, exercise and sports equipment and Healthy Edge® Plus, a software program that tracks kids’ weight, body fat and body mass index (BMI) using wireless scales. Boys & Girls Club members have participated in Fitness Games and a Top Chef Healthy Snack competition, as well as a curriculum that teaches them how to make healthy choices each day.

The SCORE Foundation and UnitedHealthcare also sponsor Blessings in a Backpack, a weekly program that provides health snacks for the weekend.

“I am thrilled to continue this partnership with UnitedHealthcare to keep kids healthy in the Metroplex,” Witten said. “Staying active and developing healthy habits is important for teens and the new activity room offers fun and creative ways to help keep them active and energetic all year long.”

UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation unveils new inspirational children’s book to help families in need

oh-book-cover-3

Imagine the chance to foster a love of reading with your children while helping to support medical grants for someone else’s child.

That’s just what parents and grandparents can do, with the release of Oliver & Hope’s Superhero Saturday, a new book unveiled at the North American International Toy Fair in New York.

The third book of the award-winning Oliver & Hope™ series, Oliver & Hope’s Superhero Saturday features Oliver™ the bear, Hope™ the butterfly and Millie™ the barn owl, who join their friend Charlotte the fox on a superhero adventure.

The beloved characters put on their hero capes and go on an exciting journey into their imaginations, where they pretend to save a pirate ship, rescue a hot air balloon and face an evil mud monster. But when they discover their friend Chewie™ the English bulldog really needs their help, the friends must work together to become real heroes.

The book, which is geared toward children ages 3-8, combines an entertaining story with engaging images that foster the imagination, while teaching kids subtle lessons about the power of friendship and resiliency. Written by Meg Cadts and beautifully illustrated by Samantha Fitch, the book is a project of the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF). Meg Cadts is actually the pen name for a group of UHCCF writers and contributors.

This and the other two books of the Oliver & Hope series are available through uhccf.org/shop for $13.95 each. Proceeds from the Oliver & Hope books and plush toys fund UHCCF grants that help families pay for children’s medical expenses that are not covered, or not fully covered, by their parents’ commercial health insurance.

In 2014 alone, UHCCF awarded medical grants worth an estimated $5.4 million to more than 2,000 children across the United States.

“We created the Oliver & Hope series to provide joy and inspiration for children.  We are grateful to have received such positive feedback on the books, especially since the proceeds from the books and toys are helping children access medical care that will improve their health and quality of life,” said UHCCF President Matt Peterson.

“Oliver and Hope’s Superhero Saturday” is available at www.uhccf.org/shop

Take heart: It’s not too late to start

Heart Health - Running

By Marshall Dawer M.D., Medical Director, UnitedHealthcare of North Texas and Oklahoma

Remember your 2015 New Year’s resolution to get healthy? Maybe it included losing 20 pounds by summer, running seven days a week or eating at least six servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

But with New Year’s Day behind us and another chilly day ahead, perhaps your enthusiasm has started to wane. It’s already February and you have yet to start on your 2015 resolutions.

Take heart:  It’s not too late to start!

February is American Heart Month, a reminder that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in America, according to a report from the American Heart Association. American Heart Month is an opportunity to focus on your heart health and start your healthy turnaround. It’s also a good time to right-size your plan and stick to it. Here are five tips for your “take heart” start:

Know your numbers. Getting healthy is about more than just reducing your waist size. It’s about reducing your biometric numbers – cholesterol, Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure and blood sugar – all of which are key indicators for one’s risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and other major illnesses. Visit your doctor, get your biometric numbers and then work to improve them.

Moderate your meals. We have all heard that vegetables and fruits are crucial to a healthy diet. The goal each day is to limit your intake of foods high in sugar, fat and cholesterol, and eat 3-5 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruits, as well as 2-3 servings of lean meats and 1-2 servings of dairy products. But that doesn’t mean you have to take an all-or-nothing approach. Start by reducing your portion sizes, and think of creative ways to add vegetables and fruit to your meals. Visit www.uhc.com/health-and-wellness/healthy-recipes for some delicious recipe ideas.

Get active. Did you know our state ranks near the bottom when it comes to physical activity? More than 27 percent of Texans admitted they had not exercised in over a month, according to the 2014 America’s Health Rankings® report. Help change that trend by increasing activity and exercising more. The goal is to get at least one hour of physical activity each day from aerobic activities like walking, jogging, biking or swimming. You can even increase your activity in small ways, such as taking the stairs at work, parking farther away from the store, pacing while you’re on the phone, or walking around the block after dinner. Five to 10 minutes here and there can add up and noticeably boost your activity levels.

Make hydration a habit. Up to 60 percent of the adult body is water; your body needs water not only to survive, but to thrive. Make hydration a habit by keeping a tall glass or reusable bottle filled with cool water at your desk or in your car. And start each meal with a full glass of water. Water can make you feel full and help you eat less. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women drink at least 91 ounces and men drink 125 ounces of water each day, including water that comes through food and other beverages.

Record your results. Write down realistic, measurable goals for diet, exercise and weight loss and record your results. Writing it all down will help you track your progress and help you stay focused. It also demonstrates how making small changes every day can add up to real results over time. Be patient, stay committed and watch as you fulfill your 2015 New Year’s resolution.