The Board of Directors of the Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust has selected two winners for the 2012 Phil Rather Award for Leadership in Healthcare this year. PVUSD's Fitness 4 Life program will be honored on May 16, before a crowd of more than 100 guests, the Health Trust will honor the winners at the Rather Award reception from 5:30 -7:30 p.m. at the foundation’s community conference space at 85 Nielson Street.
Fitness 4 Life, is the recipient of the Organizational Category. The Health Trust created the Phil Rather Award for Leadership in Healthcare in 1999.
F4L is dedicated to developing skills in youth for a healthier future. F4L serves 18 after school sites, allowing over 2,000 kindergarten through 8th graders to take part in various alternative high energy triathlon training activities. Activities include swimming, biking, salsa and hip-hop dance, sports, soccer, exercise and fitness. Students participate at their school sites, and weekly 12 school groups (400 first through eight graders) are also bussed to the local high school. 85 percent are Hispanic and 82 percent qualify for free and reduced price school meals. These students have a chance play table-tennis, swim, and participate in hands-on nutrition education. Their physical fitness activities change every nine weeks as they train for the triathlon, becoming more physically fit and adopting healthy eating patterns. Many of these students didn’t know how to ride a bicycle or swim (even though they live just a few miles from the ocean) before they became involved in the program’s triathlon training.
The award was inspired by its namesake and first recipient, Phil Rather, whose volunteer leadership in health care spanned more than 30 years in the Pajaro Valley. The Rather Award recognizes and honors individuals and/or organizations in the community whose contributions of time, effort and/or philanthropy have helped make a difference in the quality of our community’s health care.