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April 12, 2017

Thedacare Northeast Wisconsin Schools Promote Healthy Habits

During the first week in May, students at Hoover Elementary School in Neenah will see their school bustle with activities designed to help them build healthy lifestyle skills.

Good to Go’ Brings ThedaCare Staff into Hoover Elementary

During the first week in May, students at Hoover Elementary School in Neenah will see their school bustle with activities designed to help them build healthy lifestyle skills. More than 300 ThedaCare employees will span out to five Northeast Wisconsin schools, including Hoover Elementary, for its third annual Good to Go initiative, engaging students through activities, advice, and encouragement to promote healthy habits and to share their learnings with their families.

This year, school leaders from Berlin, Clintonville, Kaukauna, Neenah, and Wild Rose collaborated with committee members from ThedaCare to create programming that both engages children and leaves them with ideas about how integrate simple wellness behaviors into their future lives. Schools rotate each year, so ThedaCare employee volunteers will reach thousands of children over time. This year’s Good to Go initiative will be held May 1-5.

“The overall goal is to spend some time with students during that one week to create habits that can last for a lifetime,” said Heather Murphy, ThedaCare Cardiovascular Care manager and a Good to Go volunteer leader. “The mission for our organization is to improve the health of our communities, and to work with the five schools in the communities we live and work in is really rewarding. It’s a good way for us all to be able to live our mission.”

Schools choose which activities will fit best with their programs. Hoover Elementary will host a variety of activities, including leading gym classes, mindfulness practice, energy breaks, playground games, and a family fun night that includes Bust-A-Move, food demonstrations and working in a school garden, said Melissa Chrisman, Hoover Elementary principal.

“It will be great for our students to have community members teaching them important lessons that focus on being healthy,” Chrisman said. “Not only will it create a great partnership for our school and ThedaCare, but it will be a worthwhile week filled with events to help our students, staff, and families.”

“Good to Go allows our employees to be engaged in our community and do what we do best – share our message of health and leading an active lifestyle,” said Jean Blaney McGinnis, community health coordinator at ThedaCare and Good to Go project manager. “It complements what schools are already doing. If students hear those healthy messages from another adult, it can really help reinforce what schools and parents are trying to teach these kids.”

This year, each student participant in Good to Go also will receive a small planting kit to take home so they can grow their own baby carrots, continuing the good habits they learned during the program. Wolfrath’s Nursery and Landscaping in Hortonville donated the planting pots and dirt for the students.

ThedaCare employees will volunteer through the organization’s Helping Hearts employee volunteer program. Blaney McGinnis said many help before or after their regular work shifts or take a day off to volunteer. Last year’s Good to Go program logged 800 volunteer hours and this year’s is on track to exceed 1,000 hours. 

For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 7,000 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 34 clinics in 14 counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.