Program to use cycling to help improve the health and safety of scores of Denver-area kids
AURORA, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- UnitedHealthcare, Children’s Hospital Colorado and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge are launching a new program, “Bikes for Life,” that will provide 1,000 bicycles and 1,000 helmets to Denver-area kids over the next three years.
Four-year-old Demetrio Carrillo and eight-year-old Bakari Baker lead a group of riders over the starting line for a ride around Children's Hospital Colorado on Monday, to celebrate the launch of Bikes for Life, a collaboration among Children's Colorado, UnitedHealthcare and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. The program aims to encourage cycling as a healthy and safe activity for children. (Photo: UnitedHealthcare)
“Bikes for Life” will promote the health benefits of cycling to Denver-area youth, helping curb the growing prevalence of childhood obesity.
The three organizations share a commitment to building healthy communities and fostering healthy lifestyles early on for children, and the “Bikes for Life” program will encourage cycling as a healthy and safe activity for children in the Denver area. Along with donating bicycles and helmets to Colorado youth, the program will feature a strong safety education component to help ensure bike recipients understand the rules of the road and the importance of wearing a properly fitted bicycle helmet.
Bicycles will be donated to children who meet criteria established by the partnering organizations. An initial donation of bikes will be made, including 10 bikes today, to youths in Children’s Hospital Colorado clinics, as well as youths from community organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver. Recipients will also receive support in the form of goal setting and reporting on their physical activity levels, as well as guidance on how to make healthy changes to their lifestyles.
In Colorado, more than 27 percent of children ages 10 to 17 are considered overweight or obese. Nationwide, one in three children is obese or overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We at Children’s Colorado embrace cycling as an opportunity for children to adopt lasting healthy habits,” said Jim Shmerling, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Colorado. “Partnering with USA Pro Cycling and UnitedHealthcare to promote biking and safety education will allow many of our patients to experience first-hand the joy of this lifelong health and wellness activity.”
The “Bikes for Life” program falls under Children’s Hospital Colorado’s “Children’s Health Advocacy Institute” (CHAI), which is dedicated to improving the health and safety of youth in the community, and doing so in collaboration with community partners to maximize impact.
“We look forward to bringing the ‘Bikes for Life’ program to Denver-area children and helping them get on a path to healthy living so early in their lives,” said Beth Soberg, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual of Colorado. “UnitedHealthcare’s support of the ‘Bikes For Life’ program reflects our mission of helping people live healthier lives through daily exercise, proper nutrition and teamwork.”
The launch of the “Bikes for Life” program coincides with the conclusion of the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado that featured many of the world’s greatest professional riders. Over seven days, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge attracted more than a million spectators, more than any single sporting event in the history of Colorado.
“We are thrilled with how Colorado embraced the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which gives us the ability to work with these great partners on a cycling program that will make a positive impact for youth in our community,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the healthcare experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit www.uhc.com.
About Children’s Hospital Colorado
Children’s Hospital Colorado has defined and delivered pediatric healthcare excellence for more than 100 years. Founded in 1908, Children’s Colorado is a leading pediatric network entirely devoted to the health and well-being of children. Continually recognized as one of the nation’s outstanding hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and ranked fifth in their Best Children’s Hospitals 2011-12 Honor Roll, Children’s Colorado is known both for its nationally and internationally recognized medical, research and education programs, as well as the full spectrum of everyday care for kids throughout Colorado and surrounding states. Children’s Colorado is recognized for excellence in nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Centers and has been designated a Magnet® hospital since 2005. With more than 1,000 healthcare professionals representing the full spectrum of pediatric specialties, the network for Children’s Colorado includes 15 regional locations including its main campus on the Anschutz Medical Campus, and more than 400 outreach clinics. For more information, visit www.childrenscolorado.org and connect with Children’s Colorado on Facebook (www.facebook.com/childrenshospitalcolorado) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/ChildrensColo).
About the USA Pro Cycling Challenge
The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is a seven-day, seven-state cycling race through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado that features the world’s top riders, including the top three finishers from the 2011 Tour de France. Traveling at blistering speeds, riders risk it all in this high speed, high-adrenaline competition—with the fans there at every turn; up close and personal, with the action flying by, in person, and online. For more information, visit www.upcc.com and connect on with the USA Pro Cycling Challenge on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USAProCyclingChallenge.
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Children’s Hospital Colorado
Natalie Goldstein, Media Relations Manager, 720-777-3970
Cheryl Randolph, Director of Public Relations, 714-226-3441
USA Pro Cycling Challenge
Stacie Lange, EVP Marketing & Communications, 303-592-3854
KEYWORDS: United States North America Colorado Minnesota
INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Health Fitness & Nutrition Professional Services Parenting Insurance Consumer Sports Family Biking/Cycling Managed Care
|Six-year-old Alexavier Lopez of Thornton, Colo., received a medal from UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team rider Scott Zwizanski following a lap around Children's Hospital Colorado on Monday. Lopez is among the 1,000 children who will receive bikes under the newly launched Bikes for Life collaborative among Children's Colorado, UnitedHealthcare and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. (Photo: Tia Brayman, Children's Hospital Colorado)|
|Four-year-old Demetrio Carrillo and eight-year-old Bakari Baker lead a group of riders over the starting line for a ride around Children's Hospital Colorado on Monday, to celebrate the launch of Bikes for Life, a collaboration among Children's Colorado, UnitedHealthcare and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. The program aims to encourage cycling as a healthy and safe activity for children. (Photo: UnitedHealthcare)|