WakeMed Receives National Award for ENERGIZE! Children's Nutrition and Fitness Education Program Supported by the John Rex Endowment


Contact: Anita Blomme

RALEIGH, N.C. (July 10, 2008) - The American Hospital Association (AHA) awarded the NOVA Award to WakeMed Health & Hospitals' ENERGIZE!, a pediatric nutrition and fitness education program designed to help curb the emerging diabetes epidemic. ENERGIZE! is one of only five collaborative hospital-led programs in the nation recognized this year for their collaborative efforts toward improving community health. The John Rex Endowment, which invests in the development and support of activities, programs and organizations that improve the health of children in Wake County, has supported WakeMed's ENERGIZE! and other components of the WakeMed Children's Diabetes & Endocrinology Program with over $1.7 million in grant funds.

ENERGIZE!, a program developed by WakeMed Children's Diabetes & Endocrinology Program, is designed to teach at-risk young people ages 6 to 18 how to build lifelong, healthy attitudes about food and fitness. Children are enrolled in the program if they have elevated blood glucose or metabolic syndrome, indicating high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The children participate in a 12-week, 3-night-a-week, community-based intensive education and lifestyle change program with lessons in nutrition, physical fitness, and behavior change. To date, more than 500 children have completed the program. ENERGIZE! is partially grant funded, is free for participants and has been particularly successful reaching the un- and under-insured children in the region.

"Over the years, WakeMed has built a locally successful program which has become a statewide model and is now rightfully gaining national attention," said Kevin Cain, president and CEO of the John Rex Endowment. "Their team has invested a vast amount of expertise to combat the diabetes epidemic and provide fitness and nutrition education for children and their families. This is a huge honor for a hospital in our community. We applaud WakeMed and support them in their ongoing work to help make our kids healthier." In 2006, the John Rex Endowment honored Mark Piehl, MD, WakeMed pediatric intensivist and ENERGIZE! founder, with their annual Hands of Health Award for his work with the ENERGIZE! program.

Established in 1993, the AHA NOVA Award recognizes hospitals and health systems for their collaborative efforts toward improving community health. AHA NOVA Award winning programs share a common goal with the Association for Community Health Improvement (ACHI) - to improve community health. ACHI is the premier national association for community health, healthy communities and community benefit and is an educational affiliate of the AHA NOVA award. Each program will be honored at a July 26 ceremony held during the association's annual Health Forum Leadership Summit in San Diego. The learn more about the AHA NOVA Award or other winners, visit www.aha.org

The John Rex Endowment invests in the development and support of activities, programs and organizations that improve the health of underserved people in Wake and surrounding counties. Currently, the Endowment supports visible and measurable improvements in the health of children and youth by improving access to health services, by promoting healthy behaviors and by providing opportunities for growth and development. To learn more please visit www.rexendowment.org.