Central Pennsylvania families now have additional free resources to help strengthen their physical and mental resiliency. The resources are part of a new campaign intended to help residents in the region cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Together, WITF, Capital BlueCross and WellSpan Health have launched “Here With You,” a special Transforming Health campaign that includes:

  • Distribution of 3,600 family resource packs
  • Free access to a mobile app to help manage mental wellness
  • A 12-week community walking challenge
  • A special Transforming Health Summer Read to focus on health and mental resiliency

Family Resource Packs

Over the next three weeks, seven school districts with active meal distribution efforts will give Transforming Health “Here With You” resource packs to families at their regular “grab and go” meal distribution sites. Each bag contains supplies and information for children to help spark creativity and encourage them to stay healthy at home this summer. Supplies include a range of tools that students may not have at home, such as colored pencils, pencil sharpener, ruler and a glue stick. Each pack contains an activity sheet, wellness information, and a first aid kit, lip balm or hand sanitizer. To inspire healthy activities as a family, children will receive a seed packet and planting instruction card.

Smiles abound as one family receives the Transforming Health Here With You bag at New Bloomfield Elementary School in West Perry School District. (Photo Credit: Submitted by West Perry School District)

West Perry School District in Perry County received 100 resource packs to distribute to its families last week.

Nancy Snyder, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent of West Perry School District, shared what the project means to the district. She said, “We so appreciate WITF’s efforts in helping families stay connected with learning during the COVID -19 school closure. They have assisted us in finding creative ways to engage children in meaningful educational experiences through television programming and by providing at-home learning tools. It is heartening to see the community come together on behalf of families during this unprecedented time.”

Additionally, 3,500 “Here With You” family resource packs will be distributed among York City, Gettysburg, Lebanon, Lancaster City, Harrisburg and Chambersburg school districts. WITF Director of Education Debbie Riek added, “WITF is proud to work with Capital BlueCross and WellSpan Health to help meet the needs of families in our communities. Children of all ages need supplies to support their learning – even over the summer. We applaud children’s commitment to do their best and are pleased to give them, and their families, tools to make it all a little bit easier.”

Free Access to Mental Wellness App

The “Here With You” campaign also provides free registration for myStrength, a behavioral health mobile app offering support for managing depression, anxiety, stress, sleep and more. The myStrength app and website offer innovative self-care resources to improve a user’s positive outlook and help the user to overcome challenges. Users can track their health, enjoy interactive activities and inspirational videos. 

Through “Here With You,” free registration on myStrength is available by visiting www.TransformingHealth.org or downloading the myStrength mobile app through the App Store or Google Play. Sign up by entering the Access Code “TransformingHealth” – no spaces.  It’s private, secure and can be customized to user preferences.

“WellSpan Health is honored to support Transforming Health’s “Here With You”initiative to promote physical and mental resiliency for our friends and neighbors in central Pennsylvania during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Roxanna Gapstur, Ph.D., R.N., president & CEO, WellSpan Health. “WellSpan is committed to reimagining healthcare and inspiring health. It’s why we’re happy to work with WITF and Capital BlueCross as part of this campaign focused on building personal wellness and overall wellbeing.”

Community Walking Challenge

The “Here With You” campaign’s third and fourth initiatives will debut in the coming months. Later this month, look for a free, 12-week community walking challenge. The walking challenge promotes wellness by encouraging participants to walk in honor of those on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis: essential workers, healthcare staff, first responders and more. At the end of the twelve weeks, a $500 prize will be donated to a nonprofit of the individual winner’s and team winner’s choosing. Transforming Health hopes it is a fun and effective way to increase the community’s physical activity levels while at the same time showing support for our amazing heroes on the frontline.

Summer Read

Lastly, the “Here With You” campaign will includethe 8thannual “A Summer Read,” a unique community partnership of WITF’s Transforming HealthAligning Forces for Quality- South Central PA and Central PA library systems with additional support from WellSpan Health and Capital BlueCross.  

“We’ve all experienced so much stress this year,” said Cara Williams Fry, WITF Senior Vice President and Chief Content Officer. “This summer’s selection will be an inspirational book with a special focus on behavioral health and mental resiliency. Working together, we’ll help make both hard and digital copies of the Summer Read available to 10 library systems throughout the mid-state. Look for the official ’Summer Read’ announcement in early July.”

The Transforming Health partners feel a duty to bring hope and resources to central Pennsylvanians.

“As a true community-minded health plan, and the only one headquartered in our region, we feel great responsibility to strengthen our communities and continue to improve the health and mental well-being of the people living here,” said Todd A. Shamash, president and CEO of Capital BlueCross. “This collaboration between Capital BlueCross, WellSpan Health and WITF shows our collective commitment to these shared values – and brings resources to promote wellness and foster vital connections, especially during this great time of need.”

Details for the Transforming Health “Here With You” campaign can be found at transforminghealth.org.

About WITF

WITF is a trusted provider of public media news and programming for approximately 2.3 million citizens in 19 counties of Central Pennsylvania, encouraging children and adults to Live Inspired®.  A member station of PBS and NPR, WITF uses its broadcast and digital media to connect us to each other and to opportunities for lifelong learning. In 2012, WITF launched Transforming Health to address the rapid changes in the healthcare landscape. Transforming Health is about health care, its quality and its costs, but most importantly it’s about maintaining health in the first place, through individual and collective action. WITF, in partnership with Capital BlueCross and WellSpan Health, are dedicated to empowering Central Pennsylvanians to make choices that lead to better personal health and a strengthened community. For more information, visit transforminghealth.org.

About Capital BlueCross

For more than 80 years, Capital BlueCross has served Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley by offering health insurance products, services and technology solutions that provide peace of mind to consumers and promote health and wellness for our members. The company delivers innovative solutions through a family of diversified businesses to create healthier lives and lower healthcare costs. Among these solutions are patient-focused care models, leading-edge data analytics and digital health technologies. Additionally, Capital Blue health and wellness centers provide in-person service and inspiration to help people reach their health goals. Capital BlueCross is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association.

About WellSpan Health

WellSpan Health is an integrated health system that serves the communities of central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. The organization is comprised of more than 1,600 employed physicians and advanced practice providers, a regional behavioral health organization, a home care organization, eight respected hospitals, approximately 20,000 employees, and more than 200 patient care locations. WellSpan is a charitable, mission-driven organization, committed to exceptional care for all, lifelong wellness and healthy communities.