PBMC Led Original Initiative When Riverhead Became First Location in NYS to Introduce Unique Program to Keep Children Fit
(Riverhead, NY) Peconic Bay Medical Center has once again joined forces with Project Fit America (PFA) to take their innovative fitness education program and expand it to several schools on the east end of Long Island including Cutchogue East Elementary, Greenport Elementary and Riverhead Charter School. Peconic Bay Medical Center originally spearheaded the entrance of Project Fit America in New York State when it brought the program to the Riverhead Central School District in 2013.
Photo Credit: PBMC.
The official expansion to the North Fork of Long Island
recently took place as trainers from Project Fit America appeared on site at the schools to showcase the program. Students demonstrated the fitness program to school visitors and dignitaries and, at both Cutchogue East Elementary and Greenport Elementary, the LI Ducks Mascot, QuackerJack, made a special appearance to assist the students with their program demonstrations.
Project Fit America is a national charity which creates and donates innovative Fitness-in-Education programs to schools. The goal is to support sustainable opportunities for children to become active, fit and healthy. “When we introduced Project Fit America to our community, Riverhead became the first location in New York State to offer this innovative program. We are now excited to lead the expansion of Project Fit America to the North Fork of Long Island,” explains Andrew J. Mitchell, President and CEO of Peconic Bay Medical Center. “Project Fit America represents our commitment to schools, children and their families to keep our community healthy. To Peconic Bay Medical Center, health care is more than just treating sickness; we want to provide our community the tools they need to stay fit and healthy,” Mitchell continued.
Photo Credit: PBMC.
The program includes the installation of an outdoor playground area of fitness stations, indoor equipment as well as teacher training and curriculum. The cost to implement the program in the three schools was $75,000. Peconic Bay Medical Center led the capital campaign to raise funds with the support of GYMGUYZ East End, Lineagewear, North Fork Schools, Mattituck Lions Club, Kait’s Angels, JABS, Jason C. Leonard Inc., Barclays Bank, Capco, Sapient and Eastern Site Development.
“When we were approached by Peconic Bay Medical Center to support this unique and exciting project, we knew immediately that we needed to become involved. To be able to positively impact the health of our local children is a wonderful thing,” said Dayna Corlito, Operator of GYMGUYZ East End. Added Tim Bialeski, Past President of the Mattituck Lions Club, “As Lions, we value a commitment to community through service and work diligently with our local leaders to meet the community needs in which we live and work. Project Fit America not only provides skills to youth about how to exercise and why it is important, but provides a tool to combat obesity through the promotion of wellness awareness, education and support services and that is a remarkable asset for our children.”
“I speak for all the supporters of this wonderful program when I say that we feel honored to be a part of this project and look forward to a continued partnership through this program with Peconic Bay Medical Center and Project Fit America,” said Jill Schroeder of JABS.
Research shows that physical education is very important not only for a child’s physical development, but also for academic development. “Research proves that physically active children become better learners,” said Stacey Cook, Project Fit America Executive Director. “We thank Peconic Bay Medical Center for their commitment and dedication to the Project Fit America program and to focusing on our children to ensure they have access to this vital program designed to support their academic development and improve their overall health.”
About Project Fit America
PFA is a national nonprofit organization that creates sustainable and innovative PE programs in schools. PFA programming includes state-of-the-art outdoor fitness equipment specifically designed to address the deficit areas where children fail fitness tests; indoor mobile fitness equipment; a dynamic curriculum with games, activities and challenges; on-site teacher training and in-class instruction on subjects such as smoking intervention, nutrition and understanding your body. PFA is in its 27th year of working with schools in more than 1,000 schools in 300 cities in 43 states. Schools report increased motivation, participation and physical improvements in their students, along with parents and faculty becoming more involved in choosing fitness activities over sedentary lifestyle habits.
About Peconic Bay Medical Center
Located in Riverhead, NY, Peconic Bay Medical Center is a non-profit hospital committed to providing exceptional care and improving the health of the communities it serves. Peconic Bay Medical Center offers wide-ranging, full-scope services and programs along with state-of-art technology. Peconic Bay Medical Center is the largest and most comprehensive health system serving the East End of Long Island. Peconic Bay Medical Center joined Northwell Health in 2016. For more information, visit PBMCHealth.org.
About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 22 hospitals and over 550 outpatient facilities. We care for more than two million people annually in the metro New York area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 62,000 employees – 15,000+ nurses and about 3,900 physicians, including more than 2,800 members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We’re training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. And we offer health insurance through CareConnect. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu.