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“Inspiration and Perspiration”: Inspiring Preteens in Winston-Salem to Be Fit and Healthy

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – As part of the N.C. Schweitzer Fellows Program, eight Wake Forest University School of Medicine students will be holding a Step-a-Thon Oct. 23-27, at Hill Magnet School in Winston-Salem.

The Step-a-Thon, “Inspiration and Perspiration,” will encourage students to be fit and healthy, said Jenny Smith, a Schweitzer fellow and fourth-year medical student. “There is a great need for more active lifestyles to be pursued by our nation’s youth,” she said.

“According to the American Obesity Association, about 15 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 11 are obese,” said Laura Heringer, a second-year medical student and another fellow. “Given these alarming numbers on obesity among our society’s children, it is important to find ways to make healthy living accessible and fun.”

The Step-a-Thon will challenge the Hill Magnet students to get moving and meet daily activity goals. The students will be encouraged to meet fitness challenges during their physical education classes and to use pedometers to record their progress.

The week-long event will conclude with a pep rally led by the Demon Deacon, prizes for the students with the most number of steps, and will feature an inspirational speaker.

The N.C. Schweitzer Fellows Program, inspired by the life and ideals of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, provides students with an opportunity to help those whose needs are not currently met by our health care system. By designing and carrying out service projects, fellows gain perspective on working with local communities in a way that is rarely experienced in academic training. For additional information about the program or to apply for a fellowship, please visit the website www.schweitzerfellowship.org.

The Step-a-Thon is organized by the following N.C. Schweitzer Fellows at the School of Medicine: Dan Dison, class of 2009, from Auburn, Calif., Heringer, 2009, from Minneapolis, Minn., Alexandra Rogers, 2007, from Virginia Beach, Va., Shatima Seward, 2009, from Dolphin, Va., Blair Simpson, 2009, from Gallipolis, Ohio, Jasmine Smith, 2009, from Chino Hills, Calif., Jenny Smith, 2007, from Charlotte, and Jonathon Tovey, 2009, from Laie, Hawaii.

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Student Contacts -- Laura Heringer 701-426-9766, Barbara Heffner, 704-895-65

Media Relations Contacts: Robert Conn, rconn@wfubmc.edu,, Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, or Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, at (336) 716-4587.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. U.S. News & World Report ranks Wake Forest University School of Medicine 18th in family medicine, 20th in geriatrics, 25th in primary care and 41st in research among the nation's medical schools. It ranks 35th in research funding by the National Institutes of Health. Almost 150 members of the medical school faculty are listed in Best Doctors in America.

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