Memorial Health announces $1M donation - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Memorial Health announces $1M donation from Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Memorial Health has announced a $1 million donation from Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. This gift, which marks the largest donation to date to the Kids Only Capital Campaign for the Children's Hospital of Savannah, will be used for The Gulf Stream Children's Wellness Center.

"When we launched our Children's Wellness Program in 2012, Gulfstream was first to partner with us on this important initiative," said Maggie Gill, president and CEO of Memorial Health. "This generous donation and Gulfstream's continued support will help us provide wellness education and opportunities for the children in our region."

"Gulfstream is committed to contributing to the health and wellness of our community," said Mark Bennett, corporate responsibility manager, Gulfstream. "Our partnership with The Children's Hospital at Memorial University Medical Center allows us to take that commitment one step further and improve the quality of life for our community's most important assets—our children."

According to a 2012 community report, Childhood Obesity in Chatham County, one in three children in our county is obese. The goal of the Children's Wellness Program is to be the community's educational resource for prevention and treatment of childhood obesity. Since its inception in 2012, Memorial's Children's Wellness Program has trained more than 230 healthcare providers, educators, and school cafeteria managers.

"Having a partnership with Memorial's Children's Wellness Program has allowed the School Nutrition Program to expand upon the nutrition education we are able to provide to our students through monthly bulletin board ideas, morning announcements, and newsletters.  Also, the training provided to our School Nutrition Managers helped them to understand how they have an impact on childhood obesity and what they can do to help combat it, including the way the serving lines are set up and how to prompt students to try new foods including fruits and vegetables.  It has really been a great partnership for the district and our students and I look forward to doing more in the future," said Lydia Martin, MSRDLD, SNS, School Nutrition Director for Savannah-Chatham County Public School System.

With support from Gulfstream and other generous donors, Memorial launched a children's nutrition and exercise pilot program, and coordinated a "Chef and Child Day," where local chefs cooked a healthy meal for students at Garden City Elementary School. Memorial has also hired a pediatric nutritionist, who has provided nutrition training for Bethesda Home for Boys, local public and private schools, and early childhood centers. The Children's Wellness Program also works directly with children and their families to encourage healthy behaviors.

With Gulfstream's gift, Memorial's Children's Wellness Program will include SafeKids, a collaboration with Camp Kudzu for children with Type I diabetes, and a trained pediatric nurse practitioner to assist families who need additional medical care.

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