California Walnut Board Announces Partnership with HealthCorps®


The California Walnut Board's commitment to nutrition education continues through a new partnership with HealthCorps® (www.healthcorps.org), a proactive health movement founded and chaired by Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of "The Dr. Oz Show" and vice-chair and professor of surgery at Columbia University Medical Center.

March 18, 2010 (San Francisco) – The California Walnut Board's commitment to nutrition education continues through a new partnership with HealthCorps® (www.healthcorps.org), a proactive health movement founded and chaired by Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of "The Dr. Oz Show" and vice-chair and professor of surgery at Columbia University Medical Center.

HealthCorps is fighting the obesity and mental resilience crises by getting American students and communities across the country to become agents of change and help the country reach the tipping point towards wellness now and for the future of our children.

Like a Peace Corps for Health, this health movement engages recent college graduates who defer entry into medical school or graduate health programs to participate in public service through a two-year full time assignment at a designated public high school. HealthCorps also provides continuing professional development and activism opportunities to help Coordinators best serve their school communities. "Thanks to HealthCorps' teaching the importance of good nutrition, youth are learning the joys of whole food snacks, such as walnuts," states Dennis Balint, Executive Director of the California Walnut Board.

According to Michelle Bouchard, President of HealthCorps, "We are so fortunate to have the support of the California Walnut Board, an organization that is committed to America's health. With their support we are reaching more communities in California with our message to eat smart and stay physically active." The new partnership with the California Walnut Board will positively impact 1000 students and approximately 30,000 school staff, family and community members by providing for a HealthCorps Coordinator in each of the two California high schools currently involved in the program.

Emily Millen, the Health Coordinator at Canoga Park High School, teaches thirteen classes a week on nutrition, fitness and mental resilience in Los Angeles. At Ulysses S. Grant High School in Valley Glen, Health Coordinator Cassidy Boesch carries out the HealthCorps program as a full time high school health educator, peer mentor, coach, and health activist inspiring change in the community. "I joined the HealthCorps team so that I can empower students by providing them the tools necessary to make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing," enthused Boesch.

"The California Walnut Board is committed to Dr. Oz's vision of getting American students to take charge of their health," states Balint. Focused on three priorities, HealthCorps, with support from organizations like the California Walnut Board, educates the student body, achieves community outreach through "FitTown" – an initiative to connect and empower citizens and organizations to bring about awareness and affect change through local projects and initiatives; and advocates for policy shifts across all levels of government that put health and physical education back into the core curriculum of the American education system.

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The California walnut industry is made up of over 4,000 growers and 62 handlers. The growers and handlers are represented by two entities, the California Walnut Board (CWB) and the California Walnut Commission (CWC).

California Walnut Board
The Walnut Marketing Board was established in 1948 to represent the walnut growers and handlers of California. In April 2008, the Walnut Marketing Board became the California Walnut Board to provide origin designation to the product it represents. The Board is funded by mandatory assessments of the handlers. The CWB is governed by a Federal Walnut Marketing Order. The Board promotes usage of walnuts in the United States through publicity and educational programs. The Board also provides funding for walnut production and post-harvest research.

California Walnut Commission
The California Walnut Commission, established in 1987, is funded by mandatory assessments of the growers. The Commission is an agency of the State of California that works in concurrence with the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The CWC is mainly involved in health research and export market development activities.

Non-Discrimination Statement
The California Walnut Board (CWB) and California Walnut Commission (CWC) prohibit discrimination in all programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance programs. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the CWB / CWC offices at (916) 922-5888. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). WMB/CWC is an equal opportunity employer and provider.

About HealthCorps®
HealthCorps® proactive health movement includes an in-school educational and mentoring program in 50 schools in 9 states. HealthCorps empowers students to become educated consumers and health activists who take their message to underserved communities with upbeat events, such as the month-long Healthy Steps virtual race using pedometers and the community-based "Highway to Health" Festivals. The HealthCorps Board of Directors includes medical practioners such as Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. David Katz (Yale), Dr. Michael Roizen (Cleveland Clinic), Dr. Brian Wansink (Cornell), Dr. Laura Berman and many other renowned health experts. Proceeds from funds raised are used to establish the HealthCorps curriculum in additional high schools across the country. A 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization, HealthCorps currently receives no Federal funding. Total funding is garnered through a combination of state, city, private foundation, corporate and individual contributions. For more information, please visit www.healthcorps.org.