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Healthy Futures

For too many years we have addressed the equation of “fit body and fit minds” as requiring two separate interventions. For the mind, we’ve looked toward mentoring. For the body, we’ve turned to physical activity and health education. But our AmeriCorps investment proves that a national service member can be the catalyst to fit bodies and fit minds. Our formula has been to train our AmeriCorps members on how to use the power of coaching to build relationships with at-risk youth that inspire their healthy futures.

Our nation is more health-conscious and health-aware than ever, but for many there are still obstacles – an untreated disease, obesity, or lack of healthy food -- that prevent them from living their lives to the fullest. That needs to change, and our AmeriCorps members are working to make that happen every day.

When President Obama announced the Task Force on Expanding National Service in July, he asked federal agencies to work together to create a pipeline for national service participants to apply the skills they learned in the federal sector. Last week, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced new guidance from that will affect past, current, and future AmeriCorps members and other national service participants.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) recognized seven outstanding programs and participants with the 2013 National Service Impact Awards.

Did you know students can experience learning loss when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer months? On average, students lose the equivalent of two months of math and reading skills during the summer months. More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.

Youth Service America and UnitedHealth Group are tackling childhood obesity from a new direction: by asking children and youth across America to take action and address this critical issue. The UnitedHealth HEROES Service-Learning Grants, launched two years ago to support youth-led programs, have supported the initiatives of more than 360 schools and community organizations. Asking young people to have a meaningful impact on communities by implementing innovative ideas is an important part of service-learning, a teaching and learning strategy that makes connections between community service and curriculum.

USDA data shows that only 2% of kids eat enough fruits and vegetables and 1 in 4 young adults are too overweight to qualify for military service. Statistics like these don't exactly paint a hopeful picture for the future. But a new national service organization, FoodCorps, has set out to change that.

The Kentucky nonprofit, Home of the Innocents, provides dental services to children in state care, children with special health care needs, and other children and families served by the Home and its partner agencies.

One of Cumberland Family Medical Center, Inc.'s satellite clinics is located in McCreary County, Kentucky. McCreary County is the 4th least healthy county in Kentucky, as ranked by the Kentucky Institute of Medicine, and is both a Medically Underserved and a Health Professional Shortage Area. As such, it embodies a “last mile” problem in access to health care services.

Residents of Wolfe and Powell County in Kentucky have very limited access to primary care services, and long drives to access specialists who can meet their health needs. With its leveraged SIF funding from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, St. Joseph Health System is addressing this issue by establishing two virtual primary care delivery clinics to provide primary care services in these rural areas.

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