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Henry Medical gets children's nutrition grant

Henry Medical Center has received funds that will assist in its nutritional programs for kids.

The Stockbridge hospital has been awarded a $4,000 grant from the Speedway Children's Charities Foundation, to help defray the cost of its annual Summer Nutrition Class, which is part of the hospital's Pediatric Weight Management Program.

"The class is offered over a six-week period, each summer, to boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 14," said Michelle Nunnally, the hospital's public relations specialist. "Participants learn a non-diet approach to improve their overall health, through daily choices they make."

Melissa Hoover, an outpatient dietitian at Henry Medical Center, said the interactive nutrition class, which began in 2009, focuses on children making healthy choices about food and exercise.

"We teach them the importance of their choices, and how it is empowering to know their choices now, affect their lives in the future," said Hoover. "We've seen young kids realize the importance of their choices, and we've seen them teach their families about being healthier in general."

Ginger Moats is director of the Atlanta Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, an organization which raises funds to share with groups working to help needy, and at-risk youngsters. She said the funds will help the hospital combat childhood obesity.

"The levels of child obesity in the United States are very high, compared to other countries," said Moats.

Dr. David Jones, owner of Georgia Pediatric Cardiology in Stockbridge, has been a member of the Speedway Children's Charities board of directors for 25 years. He is looking forward to the impact the grant funds will have.

"It's going to allow us to pull in the resources of the hospital, to build an example for families about how to live a healthier life," said Jones.

The hospital applied for the grant, in 2009, but did not get it, according to Adam Stanfield, executive director of the Henry Medical Center Foundation.

"We were approved for full funding of the request in 2010," he said. "The monies will be used to administer the program, to cover operational and marketing costs. It will help to take the program to the next level, in helping more children here ..."

For more information, visit www.henrymedical.com.