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A program designed to help improve community health comes to Wilmington

Healthy Hoops at PAL
Quinn Kirkpatrick
/
Delaware Public Media

Amerihealth Caritas and the Police Athletic League partnered with the Healthy Hoops program Monday to help improve community health.

About 200 elementary and middle school students attended the event held at the PAL. Healthy Hoops is a program that works to engage local kids, using basketball, to help teach them and their families how to practice healthy lifestyles while managing asthma.

Asthma is a condition that disproportionately affects people of color nationwide. They have the highest rates of the disease, as well as the highest rates of deaths and hospitalizations. And that trend doesn’t exclude Delaware.

Amerihealth Caritas Delaware also used the event to provide health education and resources. Market President Emmilyn Lawson says addressing the social determinants of health in underserved communities across the state will help eliminate some inequities.

“Anything that we can do to help level the playing field is what we’re committed to doing- it’s a big part of our mission. And so that’s where it’s important for us to come and provide healthy snacks. It’s important for us to encourage healthy activities. It’s important for us to provide coats for members and people in the community that may not otherwise be able to afford them,” explained Lawson.

PAL Amerihealth Parternship
Quinn Kirkpatrick
/
Delaware Public Media

The Police Athletic League in Wilmington hosted the event. Located in the highly concentrated 19802 area code, the PAL provides after-school programming that promotes education, safety, and wellness.

Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long says the PAL deserves credit for putting the needs of children and families in the community first- and using strategic partnerships with health organizations to do that.

“Really recognizing that children can benefit from physical activity-learning through the basketball clinics that are being offered here- and while doing this, they’re also talking about the behaviors they can do at home,” said Hall-Long.

She adds those behaviors include staying away from unhealthy habits like smoking and improving their diet.

Along with providing resources to the community, Amerihealth also donated $3,000 to the Police Athletic League to support their work.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and a graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021