Shown at the ribbon cutting and dedication are, from left: Beth Walker, president of FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital; Kerry Hensley, chair of the FirstHealth Montgomery Foundation; members of the JF Allen family; and Roxanne Elliott, policy director for FirstHealth Community Health Services.
BISCOE – FirstHealth of the Carolinas has celebrated the ribbon cutting of yet another walking trail in Montgomery County with the dedication of the new MARCHES Daily Mile trail at the Biscoe Community Center on January 24.
The trail was funded by the FirstHealth Montgomery Foundation’s 2018 Spring Event, and was dedicated to the JF Allen family for their generous support and contributions to FirstHealth and the Biscoe community.
“FirstHealth is pleased to dedicate the FirstHealth MARCHES Daily Mile trail to the JF Allen family,” says Beth Walker, president of FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital. “The Biscoe Community Center has always been a special place to their family, and the walking trail is certainly a nice addition to the Center.”
The MARCHES program, short for “Montgomery Active Recreation through Community-Healthcare Engagement,” is a program designed by Duke Children’s Hospital. It uses a family – and community – oriented approach to wellness by helping children and their families develop a healthier lifestyle. Meetings include exercise and fun activities, tips on healthy eating and general health education. Children who are eligible have a body mass index (a measurement based on height and weight) in the 85th percentile or higher.
The Daily Mile is an international program that was created to help kids in the classroom. By giving them a place to run, walk or jog during the school day – for just 15 minutes a day – they can better focus in school and improve their overall health. Initial funding for The Daily Mile project came in the form of a $450,000 grant from The Duke Endowment, through its “Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas” grants in 2015. Grant recipients were FirstHealth’s “First-In-Health 2020 Task Forces” in Montgomery and Richmond counties, and schools in those counties were the first in the United States to implement this program by building trails at the elementary schools. Contributions also came from community members who supported events held by FirstHealth Montgomery Foundation. Now, nearly four years later, all six elementary schools in Montgomery County are participating in The Daily Mile.
The Biscoe Community Center is the home of MARCHES program, and The Daily Mile trail will allow MARCHES participants to take part in an extra activity at the Center.
“FirstHealth Community Health Services thanks the FirstHealth Montgomery Foundation for their support through the spring fundraiser for the MARCHES program,” says Roxanne Elliott, policy director for FirstHealth Community Health Services. “A portion of the funds raised made the MARCHES Daily Mile trail a possibility, and funds continue to support MARCHES implementation.”