Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dr. Emily Abrams Massey of Atlanta Honored as 'Healthy Hero' by the AMERIGROUP Foundation

/PRNewswire/ -- The AMERIGROUP Foundation today announced that it is honoring Dr. Emily Abrams Massey, principal of Seaborn Lee Elementary School, by designating her a "Healthy Hero."

Dr. Massey has served as principal at Seaborn Lee for more than six years. After noticing an increase in the number of overweight children suffering from health issues, Dr. Massey decided to take action. With a clear vision to improve the overall health and well-being of her students, Dr. Massey worked with the school nurse and cafeteria chef to devise a plan that would help change her students' eating habits and promote healthier lifestyles. Adopting principles from Dr. Yvonne Sanders-Butler's book, "Healthy Kids/Smart Kids," last year Seaborn Lee became a sugar-free zone with a new menu, including healthier choices such as grilled foods, whole-grain cereals, and fruits and vegetables. Dr. Massey quickly got parents on board to help create a support system for students and to encourage healthy families.

"Dr. Massey demonstrates a strong commitment to improving the lives of children and families through a cooperative, community effort," said John E. Littel, Chairman of the AMERIGROUP Foundation. "Her commitment offers a tremendous example of the meaningful results each of us can have within our own community. The AMERIGROUP Foundation is pleased to recognize and support her continuing efforts and achievements."

"I am absolutely elated to be receiving recognition from the AMERIGROUP Foundation for my efforts to create a healthier school environment," Dr. Massey said. "I am proud of our partnership and the great work that the AMERIGROUP Foundation is doing within the community. This is a great testament for all of the 17 schools within my cluster that are incorporating the Healthy Kids/Smart Kids Sugar-Free Zone."

The AMERIGROUP Foundation periodically honors "Healthy Heroes" who have made a significant difference in the communities served by its corporate underwriter, AMERIGROUP Corporation, which administers publicly funded healthcare programs such as Medicaid and Medicare for state and federal governments. AMERIGROUP Community Care of Georgia brings healthcare services to about 213,000 people enrolled in Medicaid in the State.

To honor Dr. Massey's service, the Foundation will present a $1,000 contribution to the organization of her choice, the American Diabetes Association.

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