Michigan Surgeon General Launches "Generation With Promise" CARE Advisory Statewide Committee

Contact: James McCurtis (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

December 4, 2008

EAST LANSING - Michigan Surgeon General Kimberlydawn Wisdom, M.D., M.S. will host the first meeting of the Community Advisory Regional Experts (CARE) statewide committee for "Generation With Promise" (GWP) at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 8 at Michigan State University's Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center (55 South Harrison, E. Lansing) in the Big 10 Room C. About 100 youth development and health experts will join Dr. Wisdom for an interactive meeting featuring project overviews, brainstorming sessions and previews of future plans for GWP. The new committee will be a valued resource providing guidance and feedback for GWP, which is designed to empower middle-school-aged youth in Michigan's Cities of Promise to be peer leaders in making positive health choices around nutrition, physical activity and tobacco-free lifestyles.

"I have invited highly respected leaders in our communities throughout Michigan to join me and it is exciting to see that so many of them have expressed an interest in learning more about ‘Generation With Promise' and in being part of the CARE group," said Wisdom. "The CARE Committee will meet twice a year to provide community oversight for cultural relevancy and program effectiveness with target populations."

GWP is a $5-million initiative funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and led by Dr. Wisdom and an interdisciplinary team organized by the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH). The project links Governor Jennifer M. Granholm's Cities of Promise initiative in vulnerable communities with MDCH and the "Michigan Steps Up" healthy lifestyles initiative. The three-year project will empower and support Student Action Teams to be actively involved in making decisions, planning actions, prioritizing needs and promoting new opportunities for students to make healthy choices.

In addition to the Cities of Promise, other partners with MDCH for GWP are the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health & Sports/Michigan Fitness Foundation, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Action for Healthy Kids, Cities of Promise, local health departments, the Michigan State University Extension, University of Michigan and Wayne State University.

In its second year, GWP's 16 Level I participating schools include Benton Harbor's Fair Plain Renaissance and Hull Middle Schools; Detroit's Burns Elementary/Middle School, Greenfield Union Elementary/Middle School, Hutchins/McMichael Elementary, J.F. Nichols Elementary/Middle School, Mark Twain School & Academy, Murphy Elementary/Middle School, Peter Vetal Elementary/Middle School, Phoenix Multicultural Academy, Ronald McNair Technical Middle School, Taft Middle School, Trix Elementary/Middle School; Hamtramck's Kosciuszko Middle School; Highland Park's Barber School of the Gifted and Talented, and Pontiac's Madison Middle School. In addition, 11 schools were awarded mini-grants for the 2008-09 school year. The project currently serves more than 10,000 students and adult leaders in 27 schools. It will expand in year three to include more Cities of Promise schools in a competitive funding process. For more information, visit www.michiganstepsup.org.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 "to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations". The Foundation targets its grants toward specific areas, including health, food systems and rural development, youth and education, and philanthropy and voluntarism. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. For further information, please visit the foundation's Web site at www.wkkf.org.

INTERVIEW AVAILABILITY: Dr. Wisdom, "Generation With Promise" staff and partners are available for interviews from 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Opening session presentations with Dr. Wisdom and special guests…CARE Advisory Committee members from throughout the state…GWP staff and supporters.