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Sisters of Mercy steps in to offer kids health education

The Post-Dispatch, June 3, 2011

The health and safety lessons taught to generations of schoolchildren have been increasingly phased out by tightened education budgets and federal testing requirements that favor core subjects like math and reading. At the same time, children and teens face record rates of diabetes, obesity, asthma and other chronic medical conditions. One local hospital system hopes to improve children's health by paying for lessons and teacher training in more than 2,000 public and private schools in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. The Sisters of Mercy Health System, which includes St. John's Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur, bought $6 million in services from HealthTeacher, a Nashville, TN, company that sells education materials to school districts nationwide. Mercy then offered the curriculum to school districts in communities their hospitals serve.