New, Safe Playground to Be Built at Southwest Philadelphia Child Development Center

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Keystone Mercy Health Plan, Wachovia Bank, a Wells Fargo Company, and Greater Philadelphia Health Action, Inc. Team up to build a new, safe playground at Woodland Academy Child Development Center

Keystone Mercy Health Plan, the largest Medical Assistance managed care organization in Pennsylvania, will partner with Wachovia Bank, a Wells Fargo Company, and Greater Philadelphia Health Action, Inc. in a day-long construction of a new, ‘safe’ playground at Woodland Academy Child Development Center in Southwest Philadelphia, as part of Keystone Mercy’s Safe Playground program. The program’s mission is to reduce the number of preventable injuries suffered by children, as well as addressing childhood obesity by encouraging healthy, physical activity through the construction of safe play areas. More than 50 volunteers will participate in the ‘build,’ including Anne Morrissey, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Keystone Mercy Health Plan; Ron Heigler, chief executive officer and executive director, Greater Philadelphia Health Action, Inc.; Vince Liuzzi, regional president, Greater Philadelphia/Delaware, Wachovia Bank, a Wells Fargo Company; and Sharon Neilson, director, Woodland Academy Child Development Center.

The groundbreaking ceremony will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, June 18, 2010, with the construction of the playground to begin immediately thereafter.
Keystone Mercy Health Plan and PA State Rep. Kenyata Johnson will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2:45 p.m. to celebrate the completion of the 1,300 square foot playground. After the ribbon cutting, children from the academy will get to play on the newly constructed play area.

Woodland Academy Child Development Center provides day care and youth services for children ages six-weeks to 14 years old. The center opened in 1990 and accomodates 36 kids, today.

In a 2005 survey of nationally recognized pediatricians conducted by Harris Interactive, 96 percent of the respondents said they believed that activity on playgrounds benefits the mental and social development of children, 89 percent said that play keeps children from becoming overweight and 82 percent agreed that play develops a child’s problem-solving skills, which may lead to increases in academic performance.

This will be the eighth playground built since Keystone Mercy Health Plan launched its program in 2007 and will be the fourth built in Philadelphia. The company and its partners have also built similar playgrounds in Chester Township and Norristown.

Who:    Ground Breaking Attendees

  •     Anne Morrissey, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Keystone Mercy Health Plan
  •     Ron Heigler, chief executive officer and executive director, Greater Philadelphia Health Action, Inc.
  •     Vince Liuzzi, regional president, Greater Philadelphia/Delaware, Wachovia Bank, a Wells Fargo Company
  •     Sharon Neilson, director, Woodland Academy Child Development Center

Playground Build Attendees

  •     50 volunteers from Keystone Mercy, Woodland Academy and Wachovia Bank, a Wells Fargo Company
  •     25 Woodland Academy Children

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

  •     Hon. Kenyata Johnson, state representative, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  •     Anne Morrissey, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Keystone Mercy Health Plan
  •     Ron Heigler, chief executive officer and executive director, Greater Philadelphia Health Action, Inc.
  •     Vince Liuzzi, regional president, Greater Philadelphia/Delaware, Wachovia Bank, a Wells Fargo Company
  •     Sharon Neilson, director, Woodland Academy Child Development Center

When:        Friday, June 18, 2010
        7:30 a.m. – Ground Breaking
        8:30 a.m. - 2:30 pm – Playground Build
        2:45 p.m. – Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Where:        Woodland Academy Child Development Center
        5401 Grays Avenue
        Philadelphia, PA 19143

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Sonya Evans-Johnson
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