MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amerigroup Florida and Simply Healthcare Plans, leading providers of Florida Medicare and Medicaid managed care services, have joined the City of Miami as sponsors of iDance Miami, an after-school dance and health education program for Miami youth ages 13-17. Teens enrolled in the 10 week program will be provided transportation to one of eight city parks, where they will form dance teams and work with professional instructors to prepare to showcase their acquired skills during the Hip Hop for Health Showcase—an event that draws spectators from all of Miami-Dade and surrounding counties. Participating youth will also receive nutritional and healthy lifestyles education to improve eating habits while improving dance performance. The program launches on March 24 at the Little Haiti Cultural Center with Miami Dade College, which has joined the effort to offer a college readiness conference for participating youth and their families.
“Innovative approaches to engaging youth in healthy, active lifestyles, such as iDance Miami, can help us make a dramatic impact on reducing childhood obesity rates and improving future health outcomes,” said Lourdes Rivas, Amerigroup and Simply Healthcare Medicaid plan president. “It’s common to hear about deteriorating health trends among our youth, such as inactivity that leads to chronic disease, so we are committed to taking action that puts our kids on a path to a healthier future.”
A Florida Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted by Miami-Dade County in 2013 indicated that 9 percent of the county’s high school students were obese, and 19 percent did not participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity on at least one weekday. The numbers were even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40 percent of children are overweight or obese.
“Thanks to Amerigroup and Simply Healthcare’s support, we can engage approximately 120 – 160 Miami teens in at least four hours a week of fun, energetic physical activity and nutritional education that can make a big difference in improving health and self-confidence,” said Zhaoming Guan, City of Miami superintendent of recreation. “Through this program, we are able to provide an activity that teens are interested in and help to exchange unhealthy habits for an active lifestyle that the participants can adopt for lifelong benefits.”
The program will encourage youth, their families and friends to make healthy habit and lifestyle changes. Transportation to weekly activities and the culminating dance showcase will be provided for youth to and from each of the eight City of Miami host parks. Since physical activity and nutritional habits will both be a focus during the program, pre- and post-assessments will help participants track metrics, including: the total number of hours each participant spends dancing in both organized weekly practices and at-home practice; healthy changes in eating habits; and dance performance improvements. ChooseMyPlate.gov will help participants identify nutrition improvement opportunities. Nutritional snacks will be provided to youth during each practice, and the program will include several lessons on nutritional education. The program will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. – hours of the day when teens tend to get in trouble and most of the youth delinquency tends to occur.
There is no cost to teens and their families to participate and opportunities to enroll are still available by contacting the City of Miami Parks at 305-416-1300 or visiting www.miamigov.com/parks.
About Amerigroup Florida and Simply Healthcare Plans
Amerigroup Florida and Simply Healthcare Plans are managed health care providers that serve Medicaid, Florida Healthy Kids, Long-Term Care (LTC) and Medicare program members in Florida. Through our Clear Health Alliance organization, we also serve Floridians who are eligible for HIV/AIDS Medicaid specialty health plan services. Together, we serve more than 600,000 Floridians. Across the nation, our family of health plans serves more than 40 million members, and 1 in 8 Americans is served by our family of companies. Our health plan members are assured care that is not only accessible, but also accountable, comprehensive, integrated and patient-centered. Each and every day, members of our team can be found in Florida communities, listening to our members, interacting with our health care providers and partnering with community-based organizations to execute health education initiatives. Our goal is to ensure members and entire communities are empowered to become active participants in their health care and sustain healthy lifestyles. To learn more about Amerigroup Florida, visit www.myamerigroup.com/FL. To learn more about Simply Healthcare Plans, visit www.simplyhealthcareplans.com.