UPMC Health Plan Adds Wesley Spectrum Services Schools To We Can! Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH, April 25, 2013
PITTSBURGH, April 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --UPMC Health Plan will award a grant
to Wesley Spectrum Services to expand We Can! ^ Ways to Enhance Children's
Activity & Nutrition^® health resources and programming for students attending
Wesley Spectrum's Academy and Integrated Services schools, located in Upper
St. Clair, Pa.
Teachers at the Wesley Spectrum Services' Academy and Integrated Services
schools will be trained on how to implement We Can! programming in a
structured school environment. That includes health education for students'
parents and families, upgrades to fitness equipment, healthy fruit and
vegetable snacks throughout the school day, and the tracking of physical
activities during school hours, apart from gym classes.
Wesley Spectrum Services' three schools (Academy, Integrated Services, and
Highland) specialize in helping students ages 6-21 who risk failure for one or
more mental or behavioral health reasons, including depression, anxiety, ADHD,
autism, and drug or alcohol abuse. Children with these conditions are
predisposed to physical health issues like overweight, obesity, and diabetes.
"People with behavioral health disability live, on average, 20 years less than
their healthy counterparts. We Can! at Wesley Spectrum is the perfect
opportunity to leverage UPMC Health Plan's health and wellness expertise, to
help these children and their families live healthier, more fulfilling lives,"
said Diane P. Holder, President and CEO, UPMC Health Plan.
UPMC Health Plan gave a similar grant to Wesley Spectrum in 2010, which the
organization used to implement We Can! programming at its Highland School in
Whitehall Borough, Pa. Two pilot classrooms of nine students each were
followed closely and data was collected about their eating habits, minutes of
physical activity, and feelings of self-esteem.
"The results at Highland are encouraging. After We Can!, many students
demonstrated an improved self-concept and stress management as well as a more
positive attitude toward being active and eating nutritiously," said Laura A.
Maines, Esq., Director of Funding and Public Affairs, Wesley Spectrum
Services. "With the new grant from UPMC Health Plan, we will continue the
programming and data collection at Highland and expand the programming to the
Academy so that more at-risk students will benefit from improved physical and
We Can! is a national movement developed by the National Institutes of Health
(NIH) that helps children ages 8-13 improve nutrition, increase physical
activity, and decrease screen time (TV, computers, and video games).
UPMC Health Plan is a corporate partner of We Can! and spearheaded the We Can!
Pittsburgh initiative in 2007. We Can! Pittsburgh includes other prominent
Pittsburgh-based organizations as key partners: ASSET (Achieving Student
Success through Excellence in Teaching), the City of Pittsburgh, Children's
Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Children's Community Pediatrics, the
Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, H.J. Heinz Company, the Senator John Heinz
History Center, and Wesley Spectrum Services.
Visit www.upmchealthplan.com/about/wecan.html for more information about We
About UPMC Health Plan
UPMC Health Plan, the second-largest health insurer in western Pennsylvania,
is owned by UPMC, an integrated global health enterprise. The integrated
partner companies of the UPMC Insurance Services Division – which includes
UPMC Health Plan, UPMC WorkPartners, LifeSolutions (EAP), UPMC for You
(Medical Assistance), and Community Care Behavioral Health – offer a full
range of group health insurance, Medicare, Special Needs, CHIP, Medical
Assistance, behavioral health, employee assistance, and workers' compensation
products and services to over 2 million members. Our local provider network
includes UPMC as well as community providers, totaling more than 135 hospitals
and more than 11,500 physicians throughout Pennsylvania and parts of Ohio,
West Virginia, and Maryland.For more information, visit
About Wesley Spectrum Services
Wesley Spectrum Services is a non-profit social services organization that
provides transformational support for children and families as they strive to
become more independent, responsible and caring members of the community. We
offer a wide array of integrated autism, behavioral health, education and
family support services to meet the complex needs of children and families in
western Pennsylvania. Our priority is advancing our mission through a
combination of professional expertise, first-rate facilities and superior
services that best meets the needs of children, families and communities in an
affordable way. We serve over 4,400 children and families in over 11 locations
throughout the region.
SOURCE UPMC Health Plan
Contact: Gina Pferdehirt, Director, Public Relations & Community Relations,
UPMC Health Plan, 412-454-4953, email@example.com, Laura A. Maines,
Director of Funding and Public Affairs, Wesley Spectrum Services,
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