Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Cohost National Child Wellness Conference

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 20, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation) and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) today will convene a national conference focused on childhood wellness at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia, Pa. Almost 500 community health leaders from across the country are expected to attend "Healthy Futures: A Recipe for Childhood Wellness," which will share the latest in research in childhood wellness and obesity prevention, including primary findings from the Independence Blue Cross Foundation Healthy Futures initiative. The conference will also feature leaders from national, regional and local organizations as well as community health professionals exploring how partnerships between insurers, doctors, hospitals, and the community can help shape the future of our country's health.

"Childhood obesity is a national priority. The Foundation and CHOP are thrilled to bring together the nation's best and brightest in every facet of this challenge to seek long-term solutions," said Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross. "By working together toward the shared goals of improving childhood wellness, we are laying the groundwork for a lifetime of healthy habits in future generations; our hope is for the Healthy Futures model to be replicated throughout the country."

The Healthy Futures initiative is a three-year, $3 million comprehensive, collaborative approach to combating obesity and improving child wellness in southeastern Pennsylvania. Healthy Futures focuses on three components of healthy living — "Eat Right," "Get Fit" and "Stay Well" — each brought to life in area schools through partnerships with national and regional experts in nutrition, fitness, and preventive health. Launched in August 2013, Healthy Futures offers programming in 25 regional schools, directly impacting more than 1,000 students and their families.

"The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has been committed to the overall care of children for more than 150 years. By partnering with the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, we are forging new ground and look forward to delivering the latest research in childhood wellness and obesity prevention and discussing solutions for this critical issue with the community," said Dr. Steven Altschuler, chief executive officer of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "The Healthy Futures program and this collaborative effort speak to the latest approach in health care: working together to find solutions to the industry's most pressing needs."

Healthy Futures: A Recipe for Childhood Wellness will begin with a leadership discussion during which Hilferty and Dr. Altschuler will share their unique perspectives as leaders in the health care industry. The conference will also explore childhood wellness from national, regional and local perspectives, with commentary from various panelists, including leadership from organizations such as the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University and Department of Nutrition Sciences at Drexel University. A full list of speakers can be found here.

Larry Soler, president and CEO of the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), will deliver the keynote address. Soler joined PHA in 2011 as its first employee, and leads the organization — along with honorary chair First Lady Michelle Obama and honorary vice-chairmen The Honorable William H. Frist, MD, and US Senator Cory A. Booker (D-NJ). The PHA brings together public, private, and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and strategies to end childhood obesity.

"Healthy Futures: A Recipe for Childhood Wellness" will close with a celebrity chef cook-off featuring renowned chefs Marc Vetri and Jose Garces who are both partners in the Foundation's Healthy Futures initiative and will demonstrate how easy it is to "eat right." A panel of 5th grade students from Healthy Futures schools will serve as judges for the nutritional cooking competition.

About the Independence Blue Cross Foundation

The Independence Blue Cross Foundation is a charitable, private foundation, whose mission is leading solutions for a healthier community. The Foundation targets the following areas of impact:

  • Securing the Blue Safety Net: Supporting private, nonprofit community health center clinics that provide access to quality, affordable health care in medically underserved areas.
  • Bolstering the Health Care Workforce: Strengthening the nursing, primary care, and allied health workforce through education, career development, and research.
  • Addressing Health Priorities: Collaborating with wellness partners to tackle the region's most pressing health challenges; currently combating the obesity epidemic through the IBC Foundation Healthy Futures Initiative.
  • Building Healthy Communities: Partnering with community leaders and programs to address community health and wellness needs.

Learn more by visiting our website: Connect with the Independence Blue Cross Foundation on Twitter and Instagram at @ibxfdn.

About Children Hospital of Philadelphia

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric health care professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program receives the highest amount of National Institutes of Health funding among all U.S. children's hospitals. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 535-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Media Contact: Ruth Stoolman Independence Blue Cross Foundation 215-241-4807 (office) 215-280-3335 (cell) Joey McCool Ryan Children's Hospital of Philadelphia 267-426-6070 (office) 267-258-6735 (cell)

Source:Independence Blue Cross Foundation