Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Two Presidents Meet over Heart Health

Sinai President Neil Meltzer and former President Bill Clinton recently shared a New York stage, drawn together by a mutual passion - improving the health of children in the United States.

The men gave out Alliance for a Healthier Generation awards at an event to acknowledge 179 schools across the country that have created innovative, healthy environments where students and staff members can thrive.

“I was proud to be part of this touching ceremony as one of my last duties as Chairman of the American Heart Association,” says Meltzer, whose one-year tenure at AHA ends this month. “A major goal I set during my time as chairman was to spearhead efforts to decrease childhood obesity in this country by making substantive changes in the culture of our schools.”

Each school recognized by the Alliance's Healthy Schools Program had met or exceeded strict standards set through healthy eating and physical activity policies.

More than 9,000 schools in all 50 states have made the commitment to make modifications to turn the tide on childhood obesity.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation was founded through a joint partnership of the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation.

“Spending time with President Clinton was also a highlight of the evening for me,” adds Meltzer. “We spoke like two old friends about his daughter's upcoming wedding, what we're both doing for our respective heart health, what's happening in Haiti and in Africa. We also shared travel stories about our respective African trips and our mutual desire to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania."

-Helene King

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