UnitedHealthcare Launches Partnership with Arizona 4-H at Tuscon Harvest Festival to Promote Healthy Living

  UnitedHealthcare Launches Partnership with Arizona 4-H at Tuscon Harvest
  Festival to Promote Healthy Living

  *Eat4-Health partnership includes 10 states, with 4-H youth as health
    ambassadors reaching other youths and families with messages to tackle
  *UnitedHealthcare mascot Dr. Health E. Hound participates in healthy
    activities, leading hundreds of attendees in group exercises, cooking
    demonstrations and fitness activities designed to burn calories and
    promote wellness

Business Wire

TUCSON, Ariz. -- November 12, 2012

Arizona 4-H and UnitedHealthcare announced a new partnership to promote
healthy living and empower youth to help fight the nation’s obesity epidemic.

Arizona 4-H and UnitedHealthcare launched its Eat4-Health partnership at the
Harvest Festival at the ...

Arizona 4-H and UnitedHealthcare launched its Eat4-Health partnership at the
Harvest Festival at the Tucson Village Farm. Left to right: Natalie Shepp,
Pima Arizona 4-H Chapter; UnitedHealthcare mascot Dr. Health E. Hound;
Elizabeth Sharps, Pima Arizona 4-H Chapter; Noemi Bohn, UnitedHealthcare
Community Plan of Arizona (Photo: Ben Arnold Photography).

The partnership, called Eat4-Health, is activating thousands of 4-H youth
ambassadors to make healthy choices for themselves and encourage friends,
families and people in their communities to make positive changes through
training, creative programs and educational events. It currently spans 10
states, including Arizona.

At the partnership launch in Arizona, UnitedHealthcare’s mascot Dr. Health E.
Hound joined 4-H youth and hundreds of community residents at the annual
Harvest Festival at the Tucson Village Farm, participating in various learning
activities to promote health, fitness and healthy living. 4-H youth led
cooking demonstrations, learned gardening tips and participated in educational
lessons about healthy eating choices.

During the event representatives from UnitedHealthcare presented a $30,000
check to Arizona 4-H to officially launch the partnership, which is being
administered by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and provides
4-H programs to counties throughout the state.

Eat4-Health builds on UnitedHealthcare’s successful partnership with National
4-H Council that began last year in Florida, Mississippi and Texas. The
campaign is expanding to Arizona, Louisiana, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania,
South Carolina and Tennessee. Each participating state 4-H organization is
receiving a $30,000 grant funded by UnitedHealthcare to support healthy-living
programs, events and other activities administered by 4-H that encourage young
people and their families to eat more nutritious foods and exercise regularly.

“Arizona 4-H is excited about this new partnership and we are proud to partner
with UnitedHealthcare to promote healthy living among 4-H youth and their
families here in Arizona,” said Kirk Astroth, Arizona 4-H Youth Development
Director at the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. “4-H youth are
excellent ambassadors to help spread positive messages about the importance of
diet and nutrition in our daily lives.”

“We are fortunate to be able to join with the young people associated with 4-H
in Arizona and work together in helping make a difference in the lives of so
many families in our state,” said Kent Monical, president of UnitedHealthcare
Community Plan of Arizona. “UnitedHealthcare and 4-H look forward to
harnessing the energy and excitement of 4-H youth to promote healthy living
and making a positive impact in the communities that will be supported by this

Participating 4-H state programs receiving a grant are developing action plans
that provide innovative, hands-on learning approaches that target specific
community needs in their state. Many of these activities will support
healthy-living programs led by 4-H that encourage youth and community
participation through events such as health fairs, cooking demonstrations,
after-school programs, workshops and educational forums, among others.
UnitedHealthcare employees will team up with 4-H at many of these events,
assisting with planning and executing projects that lead to positive,
sustainable change at the community and individual level.

As part of the Eat4-Health campaign, each state is organizing a Youth
Summit/Conference to train 4-H youth ambassadors to implement the programs and
help reach the goals in each state. The summits will provide the venue where
participants will learn more about nutrition, health and fitness, obtain
information on promoting health within their communities, and gain new tools
for participating in multisession educational trainings and one-time community
activities and events. This teen leadership experience will also serve as a
launch to a Teen Ambassadors pledge and prepare 4-H’ers to use their increased
healthy-living knowledge and skills to make an impact in their own

Online and printed educational materials will enable participants to learn and
commit to making healthier choices. To encourage participation, the campaign
will provide simple tips for healthy choices when food shopping, preparing
home meals or school lunches, when out with friends or at special occasions.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
obesity among children and adolescents has almost tripled since 1980, with
nearly one in every three children being overweight or obese. Children from
low-income and low-education households are three-times more likely to be
obese. America’s Health Rankings®, an annual comprehensive assessment of the
nation’s health on a state-by-state basis, indicates that obesity is a leading
risk factor for diabetes, heart disease and many cancers. The estimated
economic cost of obesity is $270 billion per year.

4-H reaches 6 million youth each year, 2.5 million of whom participate in
healthy-living programs that promote nutrition, wellness and physical
activities. UnitedHealthcare Community & State serves more than 2.5 million
children in 25 states and the District of Columbia. 4-H and UnitedHealthcare
share connections with many of the same public sector and community
organizations, including state and county governments and school districts.

In 2011 the 4-H/UnitedHealthcare partnership reached more than 40,000 youth
and families in three states through hundreds of community events and
activities that included distributing positive messages about nutrition and
wellness. This was accomplished in creative venues such as healthy-cooking
demonstrations, fitness camps, youth forums and community family days.These
events were designed to empower 4-H youth in the targeted states to help
educate their families and people in their communities about the importance of
healthy living through more nutritious diets and increased physical activity
in their daily lives.The program targeted communities in Florida, Mississippi
and Texas with the greatest need for education, outreach and resources.

About Arizona 4-H: 4-H is a community of six million young people across
America learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. National 4-H
Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of 4-H National Headquarters
located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within USDA.
4-H programs are implemented by the 111 land-grant universities and the
Cooperative Extension System through their 3,100 local Extension offices
across the country. The University of Arizona 4-H Youth Development Program
provides quality youth education by building positive relationships and life
skills. More than 9,000 Arizona youth are enrolled members of 4-H community
clubs in Arizona. They are supported by more than 2,000 adult volunteer
leaders. Another 132,000 Arizona youth get involved in 4-H through special
educational opportunities. To learn more go to:

About UnitedHealthcare: UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people
nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience,
meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted
relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of
health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid
beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and
care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves
more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group
(NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:



Molly McMillen, 952-931-6029
Arizona 4-H
Elizabeth Sparks, 520-626-5161
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