Derek Jeter, All-Star Baseball Shortstop, To Be Spokesperson for Children's Hospital of New York

Children's Hospital of New York Will Team With Derek Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation and Public School 128 in Washington Heights to Launch Innovative Pilot Program

Jul 23, 2001


When Derek Jeter was fourteen, he promised himself that if he made it in the major leagues, he would make sure that he had a positive impact on children's lives. "I want to help nurture dreams, I want to show kids there's another way to go," said the young Jeter. He followed through on his vision when he established the Turn 2 Foundation during his rookie year in 1996. Since its inception, the Foundation has initiated and nurtured several successful programs fostering healthy lifestyles and leadership skills, baseball clinics, and other after-school programs.

Taking it one step further, Derek Jeter will announce today that he will serve as spokesperson for Children's Hospital of New York, a part of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, from the present through June 30, 2004. Children's Hospital of New York is the largest provider of children's health services in the tri-state area, offering outstanding care in every area of pediatrics, including the most complex neonatal and critical care and all areas of pediatric surgery and surgical subspecialties. Mr. Jeter's first initiative in his role as spokesperson for Children's Hospital will be to launch the Turn 2 Us, Healthy Lifestyles Program at Public School 128 in Washington Heights, with 1400 students, ages five to twelve. The goal of this unique school-based hospital program is to promote healthy lifestyles and self-esteem through educational, preventive, and clinical care initiatives that will provide services not just to the students, but to their families as well. Dr. Herbert Pardes, President and Chief Executive Officer of NewYork-Presbyterian says, "This innovative pilot program will address the medical and social needs of children in our community, whose lives are affected by such factors as poverty, immigration, cultural and language differences, and other familial and societal pressures."

"The Healthy Lifestyles Program is a wonderful example of how a children's hospital can partner with schools and community organizations to put together a program that will greatly benefit children and families," says Cynthia Sparer, Executive Director of the Children's Hospital of New York. Dr. S. Charles Jeter, Derek's father and Vice President of the Turn 2 Foundation, has spent his career counseling children whose lives have been affected by social and psychological problems. "I am proud that Derek has demonstrated his commitment to kids through our foundation and his unique involvement with the Children's Hospital."

Dr. Walid Michelen, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President for Community Health at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, worked closely with Dr. Jeter and his wife, Dorothy Jeter, Director of the Foundation, and Mrs. Blanca Battino, Principal of Public School 128 in Washington Heights, to design a comprehensive program unlike any other existing school program in the nation. It is made up of three components: the expansion of current pediatric medical and behavioral on-site health services provided by Children's Hospital staff; funding for the continuation of the Estrellita program, to help students overcome reading difficulties; and an after-school program that focuses on promoting healthy lifestyles through exercise and nutrition.

"Dr. and Mrs. Jeter have an exceptional understanding of how a foundation can work directly with parents and children to improve the quality of their lives," says Dr. Michelen. "They did their research and found a winning partnership with the Children's Hospital and P.S. 128." Blanca Battino, the school's principal, has paved the way for this pilot program to be integrated into the school's curriculum, according to Dr. Michelen. "Mrs. Battino is deeply concerned about every aspect of her students' well-being."

Evelyn Montanez will serve as Director of the Turn 2 Us Healthy Lifestyles Program at P.S. 128. The team of physicians, nurses, and social workers from Children's Hospital will provide school-based preventive care for diabetes, asthma, and cardiovascular disease. Exercise and nutrition are key elements in the program, since childhood obesity is a major cause of chronic illness.

Dr. Jennifer Havens, Director of Clinical Services for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Children's Hospital of New York, is in charge of the behavioral counseling program at P.S. 128. Dr. Mary McCord, Co-Director of Community Pediatrics at Children's Hospital, developed a pediatric medicine program at P.S. 128 two years ago. The program assesses the children's medical needs and arranges for them to establish a relationship with the Hospital's ambulatory care pediatric practice. The school-based program has been responsible for a marked decrease in the number of families who use the Hospital's pediatric emergency room for primary care. The behavioral counseling program and the pediatric medicine program will be integral parts of the Healthy Lifestyles Program.

The Turn 2 Foundation's innovative partnership with Children's Hospital of New York and Public School 128 brings together a talented team of professionals to offer a holistic approach to education, counseling, physical activity, and medical and behavioral health services for children. This is a game plan that affords every kid an opportunity to be a winner.