Gulfstream helps expand Memorials' Children's Wellness Program - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Gulfstream helps expand Memorials' Children's Wellness Program

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Helping children fight obesity in our community.

We take a closer look into how a $1 million dollar donation from Gulfstream Aerospace to Memorial Health will help expand the Children's Wellness Program.

One in three children in Chatham County is obese. It's an alarming statistic that Memorial Health's Children's Wellness Program is trying to change.

"All these children, when they are over their bmi percentile, we will see core mobilities,which could be Type II diabetes, some heart conditions, high blood pressure, they could even have some problems with their liver, so we have to start treating all these aspects," said Children's Wellness Dietician Brittany Lightsey.

To help further the impact of the program, Gulfstream  donated $1 million dollars to help fund a clinic.

"At Gulfstream, we have had a long standing relationship with Memorial University, and we expanded that support through the Children's Wellness Program," said Mark Bennett, manager of Community Relations. "We believe the Children's Wellness Program is really important, not only for our employees and their kids, but the kids in the community as well."

"This donation will help us take the next step in our wellness program, by opening a clinic that will have a lot of clinic providers in it," said Lightsey. "It will have a provider, a pediatrician, a nurse practitioner, a dietitian, and an exercise physiologist that will be able to see kids struggling with their weight who may be over their ideal bodyweight. "

Memorials Children's Wellness Program has also partnered with Savannah-Chatham Schools, providing training for school nutrition managers to understand they have an impact on childhood obesity and what they can to do combat it.

"I, the nutritionist, with Pick a Power Meal at all of the Savannah Chatham schools and letting them know it is a nutritious meal and to encourage kids to choose it," sad Lightsey. "We have the, "Chef and Child day," where 35 chefs cooked a healthy meal at Garden City."

Through this donation, Memorial hopes to continue programs that will encourage healthy behaviors.

The Children's Wellness program also works directly with children and their families to encourage healthy behaviors. The clinic will open to the community in August.

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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