Infectiously contaminating kids of all ages, everywhere, to learn, have fun, and make great life choices… let the epidemic begin!
Healthworks! North Mississippi
HealthWorks! North Mississippi, located in Tupelo, Mississippi, is the first national full-scale replication. Developed in partnership between Memorial Health System, the Health Care Foundation of North Mississippi (HCF) and North Mississippi Health Services (NMHS), HealthWorks! North Mississippi’s inception came about as an extension of NMHS’s goal of improving health in the region. Already funding NMMC School Nurses and School Health Educators in 23 schools throughout Northeast Mississippi, HCF officials in 2002 noted the measurable success of the HealthWorks! model used throughout the Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan region.
Collaborating with regional community leaders on the study and evaluation of the HealthWorks! model, the HCF Board of Directors commissioned Mississippi State University’s Social Science Center (SSRC) to conduct a study to determine the need and interest for a children’s health education center to serve North Mississippi and Northwest Alabama.
After the SSRC identified some alarming regional behaviors that put children at risk for serious health problems later in life, stakeholders from businesses, educational agencies, healthcare organizations, government and other partnerships formed a Community-at-Large Steering Committee to guide project planning. Following review of the SSRC study, the HCF’s Board voted unanimously to support the development of HealthWorks! North Mississippi.
Facility construction and program development began in 2008, with January 2009 slated as the official opening date. Staff members from both entities continue their close relationship, sharing learning and creativity yet operating independently, with each center retaining its own unique character.
HealthWorks! South Bend
HealthWorks! has been infectiously contaminating kids of all ages since their doors first opened in February 2000. About two years earlier, the leadership of Memorial Health System and Memorial Health Foundation, inspired by Memorial’s vision of becoming the healthiest community in the nation, began dreaming about a bold, new and innovative way to reach kids.
They knew that new and different approaches were needed to give kids the passion and courage to lead inspired and healthy lives. They also knew that they didn’t know a lot about how to do this… but they boldly moved forward, learning at the speed of light as they visited dozens of facilities and joined forces with many experts from both the local community and from across the country.
Very quickly, the vision changed from dream to reality with the development and creation of HealthWorks!, a one of a kind place that merged the best of both worlds from children’s museums and health education centers with their own creative spin. Today, they are the educational arm of Memorial Children’s Hospital and over half a million people have experienced their irresistible health edutainment through field trips, community outreach programs, birthday parties, special events, and general admission visits. And though their facility is important, HealthWorks! is really about people and the way they interact.
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