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A New Collaboration in Tennessee

Just in time for National Childhood Obesity Awareness Prevention Month, we are excited to introduce this new partnership in the Volunteer State!

Students in 80 handpicked Tennessee elementary schools will receive The OrganWise Guys Comprehensive School Program (OWG CSP) this fall. The program is funded by a grant from The BlueCross Blue Shield of Tennessee Health Foundation (THF) and will be implemented by personnel from the Office of Coordinated School Health. This evidence-based program centers on a set of loveable characters that personify the major organs of the body (Hardy Heart; Sir Rebrum, the brain; Pepto, the stomach; Peri Stolic, the intestine; Luigi Liver; Peter Pancreas; Madame Muscle; Calci M. Bone, and The Kidney Brothers).

The OrganWise Guys’ approach is unique. Instead of teaching what not to do, the cute organ-shaped characters explain how they function and how healthy lifestyle choices (or poor ones) affect the organs of the body. All lessons are built around these engaging characters who are the nucleus of OWG CSP and empower kids and their parents and caregivers to be “healthy and smart from the inside out.” Their motto is, “We love who we live in, so please take care of us!”

“Children, especially the very small ones, do not understand that eating large amounts of saturated fat on a continual basis may injure their heart,” stated Dr. Michelle Lombardo, D.C., founder and President of OWG, Inc. “However, young ones understand, and remember, this ’bad fat’ message when Hardy Heart shares the scientific information with them through fun and playful stories. In fact, independent research shows The OrganWise Guys curriculum, when combined with school meal programs, helps children live healthier lives and score higher on standardized tests than children who have not been part of the program,” said Lombardo.

THF is funding the program through a three-year grant totaling $755,000. The Office of Coordinated School Health has chosen the participating schools based on need, location and availability of staff/resources.


About The OrganWise Guys, Inc.

Since 1993, The OrganWise Guys Inc. (OWG INC) has partnered with a variety of public and private entities to bring science-based nutrition, physical activity, and other lifestyle behavior messages to children and adults. Their specialty is combining a depth of knowledge of the research on nutrition and preventive health care practices with creative, attention-getting, curricula-linked resources that challenge learners to change their behavior. Through their evidence-based programming, The OrganWise Guys Comprehensive School Program, OWG INC is working to improve children’s health, fitness, and academic performance while reducing childhood obesity rates.


About Tennessee Office of Coordinated School Health

The Office of Coordinated School Health (OCSH) was established by the Tennessee Department of Education in February 2001. The primary mission of the office is to improve student health outcomes as well as support the connection between good health practices, academic achievement and lifetime wellness.  The OCSH partners with the Tennessee Department of Health, Office of School Health. With the passage of T.C.A. Section 49-1-1002 in 2000, authorization and funding for CSH was established. Additional funding has been provided by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


About Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc.

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc. (THF) was established in December, 2003 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation organized to promote the philanthropic mission of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. THF awards grants focused on high-impact initiatives across the state, which promote healthy lifestyle choices and help control health care costs for all Tennessee residents. Working with civic and economic partners, THF is dedicated to the support of research, innovative programs and creative approaches to improve the health and quality of life of Tennesseans for generations to come.
About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee offers its customers peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s website at bcbst.com.

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