Friday, May 30, 2014

Contact: Alexa Shook, PacificSource

 Justin Yax, DVA Advertising & PR

Pacificsource Healthy Life Schools Challenge Winners Announced

2014 Challenge sets records for faculty/staff participation; winning schools rewarded with $1,000 grants from PacificSource Health Plans

(SPRINGFIELD, Ore.)—Three schools in Springfield have been declared the winners of the 2014 PacificSource Healthy Life Schools Challenge. During the four-week challenge, the faculty and staff at Thurston Elementary, Briggs Middle School and the Academy of Arts and Academics (A3) topped 28 other elementary, middle and high schools in the Springfield and Bethel School Districts to claim the 2014 Challenge titles.

Now in its third year, the Healthy Life Schools Challenge attracted a record number of participants — a nearly 20 percent increase over 2013. The winning schools replaced the greatest number of unhealthy snacks each day with servings of fresh fruits and/or vegetables.

In total, more than two thirds of Bethel and Springfield school district faculty and staff consumed some 23,000 servings of fruits and vegetables while replacing nearly 6,000 unhealthy snacks.

Each of the winning school will be awarded $1,000 grants from PacificSource Health Plans, which will be used to fund health and wellness initiatives.

For Thurston Elementary, 2014 marks the third consecutive year the school has rallied to win the Healthy Life Schools Challenge among elementary schools.

“Our staff really appreciates the support from PacificSource and being rewarded for making healthy eating choices,” said Brooke Wagner, principal at Thurston Elementary. “Three years in a row is a big deal, and we will continue to use the grant money to fund a building-wide water service.”

Two-time winner Briggs Middle School has committed once again to using its winnings to fund a Community Wellness Fair at the school.

In addition to incentives for healthy eating, the 2014 Healthy Life Schools Challenge incorporated a physical activity component by encouraging faculty and staff to take part in the “Run For Your Healthy Life” training program, a four-week training plan specifically designed to help participants prepare to run or walk a 5-kilometer race.

PacificSource donated 50 race entry fees to be used by faculty and staff to compete in the CASA/RE/MAX Integrity Champions for Children race that took place at Skinners Butte on May 10. All 50 race registrations were used.

PacificSource has donated another 100 entry fees — 50 each for faculty and students — to participate in the Miles for Meals 5K on May 26 at Alton Baker Park. 

“The goals of the Challenge are to have teachers set a good example for their students and to convey that incorporating simple changes into someone’s diet and exercise routine can have a tremendous impact on overall health and long-term behavior change,” said Alexa Shook, director of PacificSource Healthy Life. “We are thrilled to see more and more teachers every year choosing to be healthy role models for our youth.”

About PacificSource Healthy Life™

Through collaboration with individuals, organizations, academic institutions, and other key stakeholders, PacificSource Healthy Life™ facilitates the adoption and maintenance of positive health behaviors in four key areas: physical activity, healthy eating, smoke free living, and stress management. With programs throughout the Pacific Northwest, Healthy Life is a leader with regard to wellness initiatives that improve the health of the people in the communities that PacificSource Health Plans serves. For more information about PacificSource Healthy Life, visit or contact Alexa Shook at

About PacificSource Health Plans

PacificSource Health Plans is an independent, not-for-profit community health plan serving the Northwest. Founded in 1933, PacificSource is based in Eugene, Oregon, with local offices throughout Oregon and in Idaho and Montana. The PacificSource family of companies employs 700 people, serves more than 300,000 individuals, and has 6,200 employer clients throughout the Northwest. PacificSource Community Health Plans, Inc. is a subsidiary of PacificSource Health Plans and markets Medicare Advantage products under the name PacificSource Medicare. PacificSource Community Solutions, Inc. is a subsidiary of PacificSource Health Plans and provides Medicaid coverage in Oregon through the Oregon Health Plan. For more information visit

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Last updated 5/30/2014