HealthCorps coordinators begin semester in Living Labs program

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HealthCorps, a national health and wellness nonprofit founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Lisa Oz, is pleased to announce the addition of Living Labs coordinators Deborah Chen and Lisa Woodlee to its staff. Deborah and Lisa will service three high schools and three middle schools in Knox County and Corbin, Kentucky, as part of a Berea College Promise Neighborhood grant.

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Woodlee of Bangor, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, will service Corbin Middle School and Lynn Camp Middle and High schools in Corbin, Kentucky. Chen of Greer, South Carolina, and a graduate of Emory University, will service Knox Central High School and Barbourville Middle and High schools in Barbourville, Kentucky.

“The Promise Neighborhood grant has given us the unique opportunity to bring our three pillars, nutrition, fitness and mental resilience, to a part of rural America. We are so excited to continue our partnership with Berea College as we work together to make the Appalachian region fitter, healthier and happier,” said HealthCorps President Michelle Bouchard.

The HealthCorps programs in Knox County are funded by the Promise Neighborhood grant and Anthem Foundation. “We are proud of our partnership with HealthCorps and are excited to dedicate ourselves to changing lives in Knox County,” said Kennan Wethington, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky.

The coordinators will use HealthCorps research and public health data to create a wellness program at their schools that is uniquely suited to the needs of the service region.

“The placement of HealthCorps’ curriculum in Lynn Camp Middle and High schools, Corbin Middle School and Knox Central High School will help foster long-lasting change in the lives of our young students,” said Kelli Moore, project director for the Berea College Knox Promise Neighborhood.  “Berea College has partnered with HealthCorps in the past and we are excited to bring this important program to the students and families in the Neighborhood.”

As HealthCorps coordinators, Chen and Woodlee will commit to HealthCorps for two years and facilitate the HealthCorps’ skills-based curriculum (fitness, nutrition and mental resilience) throughout the school year while developing a strong relationship with school personnel and officials to deliver the HealthCorps components.

The coordinators will help extend HealthCorps’ message beyond the classroom by organizing health events such as health fairs, parent and teacher outreach events, lunch time demonstrations, and after school cooking clubs. They will also serve as mentors and role models to the students.

Berea College has been awarded Federal Promise Neighborhood funds by the U.S. Department of Education for the Knox Promise Neighborhood (2017-2021). The total project cost is $45 million of which $30 million (67 percent) comes from federal Promise Neighborhood funds and $15 million (33 percent) from non-federal funds. The programs supported by the grant will service more than 10,000 students in Knox County and Corbin. This is the second Promise Neighborhood grant Berea College has received, with the first serving Clay, Jackson and Owsley counties. At the time, Berea College was the first Promise Neighborhood grantee in rural America.

HealthCorps and Berea College announced their partnership in 2015 to help bring health and wellness education to the Appalachian region. In March 2016 HealthCorps and Berea College held a two-day training for teachers and support personal across Jackson, Knox, Leslie and Madison counties on optimizing student success while infusing the three pillars of the HealthCorps curriculum: nutrition, fitness and mental resilience.

The HealthCorps programs in Knox County are paid for by funds from the Federal Promise Neighborhood and Anthem Foundation.

To learn more about the Berea College Knox Promise Neighborhood, visit  To learn more about HealthCorps, visit