For immediate release: February 12, 2024
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Horne and Dr. Oz announce school health, wellness and career readiness partnership
Education and HealthCorps team up
PHOENIX – State schools chief Tom Horne and Dr. Mehmet Oz, M.D., are announcing a partnership between the Arizona Department of Education and the non-profit HealthCorps initiative founded by Dr. Oz more than 20 years ago.
The partnership provides for more educational programming, leadership experiences and service learning related to student health, wellness and career development in the health care field. Also included are Arizona Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and the National Football League Alumni Association (NFLA), which was represented at today’s announcement by retired NFL players Nick Lowery, Darryl Clack and Wesley Leasy.
Horne stated, “Dr. Oz and I share a passion for having health and wellness; and we need to do as much as possible to teach and encourage healthy eating habits, exercise, and other lifestyle choices that promote the physical and mental well-being of students. Healthy students also perform better academically. HealthCorps shares my focus on that mission as well as the value of giving students opportunities to explore careers in the health care field, where workers are badly needed.”
Dr. Oz said, “This generation of teens is facing unprecedented challenges in their physical health, behavioral health, and social needs. Left unaddressed, this leads to an increased risk for mental illness, substance abuse, chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer, and a lower life expectancy. Combatting these stats, we provide teens with the tools to become more physically and mentally resilient. HealthCorps is the glue between the private sector and public agencies like the Arizona Department of Education. I am grateful to Superintendent Horne for joining me in this effort.”
The Arizona Department of Education already has significant responsibilities in the areas of school health and nutrition that lend themselves to cooperative agreements with groups like HealthCorps to address the growing health and wellness needs of Arizona students. The department’s Career and Technical Education unit has as one of its primary goals to assist students who are in programs that will lead them to careers in the health care field. And the Health and Nutrition Services group provides schools with resources for providing healthy meals.
In the near future, the Department will make resources from HealthCorps available on its online platform for educators.