EmblemHealth Promotes Healthy Eating in Harlem with Intergenerational Program Linking Teens and Seniors

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The program culminates with the tastiest, healthiest meals prepared by 12 Harlem students in two teams led by senior citizens from a program of the Abyssinian and judged by celebrity chefs.

Television personality Star Jones and Michelle Paige Paterson, EmblemHealth’s Director of Integrative Wellness.

We’re very proud to sponsor this intergenerational program to foster bonds within the community, promote nutritional education and encourage healthy behavior, said William A. Gillespie, MD, Chief Medical Officer, EmblemHealth.

Celebrity Chefs Roblé Ali of Bravo Television Network, Marcus Samuelsson of Harlem’s Red Rooster Restaurant, and Chef Walter Hinds of Hinds Restaurant on the Island of St. John, selected the tastiest, healthiest meal prepared by 12 Harlem students in two teams led by senior citizens from a program of the Abyssinian Development Corporation. The race against the clock for the title of Teen Battle Chef - emceed by television personality Star Jones - took place before an audience at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Teen Battle Chef is a program of Family Cook Productions, event producers, and underwritten by EmblemHealth, Inc.

Teen Battle Chef Live is the culmination of an eight-session intergenerational program that brought seniors from a program of Harlem’s Abyssinian Development Corporation together with children from the neighborhood’s Thurgood Marshall High School, Bread & Roses High School and Northside Center for Child Development to share food traditions and learn about nutrition. The teams will complete a designated recipe that reflects the healthy, delicious, multiethnic meals and sophisticated culinary techniques they learned during the program.

The intergenerational program is underwritten by EmblemHealth as part of its ongoing efforts to promote health and wellness in the neighborhoods it serves. It partnered with the Metro Manhattan Chapter of The Links, a volunteer service organization comprised of professional women of color, committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.

“We’re very proud to sponsor this intergenerational program to foster bonds within the community, promote nutritional education and encourage healthy behavior,” said William A. Gillespie, MD, Chief Medical Officer, EmblemHealth, who notes that Harlem has some of the city’s highest pediatric obesity rates. “This sponsorship is part of our ongoing efforts at EmblemHealth to encourage healthy behavior and reduce the growing rates of childhood obesity among New York City children. By bringing teenagers and senior citizens together and supporting events that increase awareness of healthy eating, we believe we can really make a difference.”

According to a New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene report “Obesity in East and Central Harlem: A Look Across Generations,” one in three public high school students there is overweight or obese. Approximately 57 percent report watching at least three hours of television each day, and 83 percent report eating fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

According to Inez N. Richardson, President of the Metro Manhattan Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, the goal of the program is to promote healthy behavior change among program participants, as well as to teach culinary skills. Program participants will gain a firm foundation in basic nutrition and healthful meal planning, and preparation.

EmblemHealth will continue to sponsor programs aimed at fighting childhood obesity in the communities which it serves. The Intergenerational Program has generated interest among the participating schools in ongoing programs that emphasize healthy eating and good nutrition.

About EmblemHealth
EmblemHealth, Inc., through its companies Group Health Incorporated (GHI) and HIP Health Plan of New York (HIP), provides quality health care coverage and administrative services to approximately 2.8 million people. Groups and individuals can choose from a variety of PPO, EPO and HMO plans, as well as coverage for prescription drugs and dental and vision care. We offer a choice of networks, including quality doctors and other health care professionals throughout the region, leading acute care hospitals across the tristate area, and physicians and hospitals across all 50 states. For more information, visit http://www.emblemhealth.com.

About The Metro-Manhattan Chapter, of the Links, Inc.
The Metro-Manhattan Chapter of The Links, Incorporated established in the Harlem community in 1988, is a proud addition to a National organization established in 1946. The Chapter’s express mission is to serve the Greater Harlem community. The chapter’s hard work has established a reputation at the local and national level for effective programming through its signature Young Achiever’s program and other equally impactful initiatives that have impacted Harlem institutions such as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Harlem Hospital, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Thurgood Marshall Academy, and countless men, women and children in Harlem and around the world.

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Nadine Woloshin
Rubenstein Associates, Inc.
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Jaclyn Mattel
Rubenstein Associates, Inc.
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