Press Releases: 2011
Employees of Keystone Mercy Help Build Healthy Community with New Playground
'Safe Playground' is 11th Built as Part of Keystone Mercy Program
July 21, 2011
The 11th children’s playground built in the Philadelphia area by employees of Keystone Mercy Health Plan, will go up Saturday, July 23, at the Bible Way Baptist Church in West Philadelphia.
Co-sponsored by Wells Fargo, Verizon, Verizon Wireless, the Urban Affairs Coalition and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and constructed along with help from other community organizations and entertainment notables from the Charlie Mack Party4Peace Celebrity Weekend, the playground is aimed at reducing the number of preventable injuries and childhood obesity rates by keeping kids active and exercising in their own neighborhood.
The colorful, 1,800-square-foot playground with plenty of places to climb and slide is the first new one built in the area around Bible Way in a number of years.“It is truly a blessing to have Keystone Mercy, Wells Fargo and the other community groups take the time to construct this wonderful playground for our children,” said Reverend Dr. Damone B. Jones Sr., Senior Pastor of Bible Way Baptist Church. “The children and their parents are just thrilled to have such a beautiful, safe place to play.”
The playground build will begin at Bible Way, located at 1323 North 52nd Street, at 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 23 with a groundbreaking ceremony. Construction will be completed in one day and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 2:00 p.m. The day will include music and games for children.
The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (RDA) assembled the property for the playground and sold it to Aiding Communities for $1.
“Inviting places for children to play are important pieces of healthy communities,” said RDA executive director Ed Covington. “The RDA is pleased to have worked with the Mayor’s Office, Aiding Communities and other community partners to make this playground a reality.”
Keystone Mercy established its Safe Playground program “The Power to Change a Child’s World” in 2007 and employees have built them at schools and churches throughout the area as part of the company’s effort to prevent childhood injuries and fight against rising childhood obesity rates, particularly in lower-income families.
“The Safe Playground program is an important part of our mission of helping to build healthy communities,” said Anne Morrissey, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies. “We’re very proud that our employees take such an active part in trying to keep children healthy by coming out and working hard to build the playgrounds.”
“Childhood obesity rates have been growing at alarming levels in the last three decades and we know kids need more exercise to keep their weight down to avoid diseases like diabetes,” said Jay Feldstein, DO, Regional President of the AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies. “Kids will have a lot of fun on the playgrounds we build, but they will also be getting in the habit of making physical activity a normal part of their day, which will help them to stay well.”
About Keystone Mercy Health Plan
Keystone Mercy Health Plan, a member of the AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies, is a Medical Assistance (Medicaid) managed care health plan serving more than 300,000 Medical Assistance recipients in southeastern Pennsylvania. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Keystone Mercy is a mission-driven company dedicated to helping members get care, stay well and build healthy communities. For more information about Keystone Mercy Health Plan, please visit www.keystonemercy.com.
For more information, contact Keystone Mercy at 215-937-8648.