This is the third of six articles regarding Heartland Health’s sponsorships of Saint Joseph Mustangs baseball and the Kansas City Chiefs Summer Training Camp. The Mustangs’ season started May 26. They will play a total of 46 games; 26 here in St. Joe at Phil Welch Stadium and 20 “away games,” including the last one on July 19 at Chillicothe. If the Mustangs make the playoffs, games will run through July 24.
Heartland is a key sponsor of the Mustangs as well as the Chiefs Summer Training camp because we know how important both are to the vitality of the community. Commercials featuring people who have taken this philosophy to heart will appear during the months of July and August on cable and local television stations. This is the “story behind the story” of Jill Masters, one of the people featured in the commercial.
Jill’s goal is to run a half–marathon in each of the 50 states. So far, her list is 13 states long. She started running 5Ks and then 10Ks and now, half marathons. “It’s good incentive,” Jill says, “because the money goes to a good cause.”
In St. Joseph, Heartland Health is a proud sponsor of the Mustangs as well as the Chiefs training camp, but that’s not where our impact on the community ends. As with Jill, Heartland has a goal — a mission — to improve the health of individuals and communities located in the Heartland Health region and provide the right care, at the right time, in the right place, at the right cost with outcomes second to none. In some cases, this means providing care and support to individuals who otherwise cannot afford health care. Here’s a breakdown:
Quantifiable Benefits in 2010
Charity Care (at cost)
Community Benefit Programs, Disbursements
We also invest time, effort and resources into the Health Improvement (HI) programs that help keep our community healthy, such as the Pound Plunge, an event that is not only about losing weight, but also improving one’s self–esteem. Poor self–image can contribute to hopelessness and depression, two of the root causes of declining health. In 2010, Nearly 2,000 participants lost more than 13,000 pounds during the 12–week program.
Our Health Improvement initiative also helps to keep our children healthy with programs such as the 4th Grade Challenge. Among school children, 33 percent meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of obese and more than two–thirds are considered overweight. The 4th Grade Challenge is a program created for children who are at the age when they begin to make choices for themselves — motivating children early in life, before bad habits are ingrained. This eight–week program takes place in the fall and in the spring. Activities focus on exercise, nutrition and health. They learn fun new exercises, reading labels, how to choose a healthy meal at a fast–food restaurant, reasons to avoid tobacco use and so much more.
In total, including all of our programs and sponsorships, Heartland provides $58.6 million in quantifiable benefits to the community. For Jill, it was the Women’s Wellness Initiative that got her interested in being healthier. Her employer, Altec, started spreading the word about Heartland–sponsored activities. “I saw Zumba was offered and decided to go,” she says. “There were lots of speakers and things. I can understand why Heartland sponsors this. It makes a lot of sense.”