Community Benefit Trust to Sharpen Focus & Become Catalyst on Childhood Health
Release Date: 05/08/2007

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OMAHA, Neb. – Alegent Health’s Community Benefit Trust (CBT) has awarded $17 million in grants and provided assistance to tens of thousands of the area’s underserved since its inception three years ago. The Trust—created by the Alegent Health Board of Directors— has created tangible and measurable health improvements in some of the region’s most vulnerable populations in the metro communities and surrounding area by forging innovative partnerships with non-profit organizations. Although the CBT has proved to be an incredible resource, the Board has decided to sharpen the CBT’s focus in an effort to make an even more significant impact on the important health needs of our community.

This change has prompted CBT to be renamed “The Alegent Health Catalyst Fund,” which will focus solely on early childhood health needs, with an initial emphasis on childhood nutrition and activity. By narrowing focus on a singular, high priority health issue among our children, Alegent Health hopes to make significant progress in improving their health more quickly.

“As adults, we have a commitment to ensure our future generations grow up healthy and strong. But the sad fact is that an alarming number of Nebraska children are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight due to a lack of physical exercise and poor nutrition,” said Wayne Sensor, Alegent Health CEO. “The Alegent Health Catalyst Fund will be instrumental in bringing community stakeholders together on the issue of childhood obesity. Through this fund, we hope to inspire collaborations and partnerships and begin forming solutions through advocacy efforts and youth enrichment programs”

In recent months, Alegent Health has joined forces with Our Healthy Community Partnership (OHCP) to create a collaborative community partnership committed to finding solutions to childhood obesity. The group’s chief concerns include: physical inactivity and poor nutrition are contributing to the fact that one in every three Nebraska K-12 students is overweight or at risk of being overweight, students are drinking too much soda and making poor nutritional choices and annual hospital costs for youth associated with obesity have tripled over a 20-year period. This community initiative has attracted support from a high caliber team of local medical providers, public health officials and school and community leaders.

During this transition, Alegent Health remains committed to supporting the needs of our community and has set aside funds to assist previous CBT funded programs to achieve sustainability or secure new funding for their programs. Non-profit organizations interested in learning more information can contact Anne Hindery Camp at 402.343.4426 or email acamp@alegent.org.