For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253


Rochester, New York (February 23, 2010) – According to the Greater Rochester Health Foundations Strategic Plan for The Prevention of Childhood Overweight and Obesity in Monroe County, 20% of 3rd graders in Upstate New York are obese, exceeding the national average by 16%. With childhood obesity increasing in our nation, educating children and their families on the importance of leading healthy lifestyles is critical to reducing those numbers. In an effort to help in educating our community, WXXI and its project partner WSKG-TV in Binghamton will host a televised forum to address the dangers of leading an unhealthy lifestyle. Healthy You: A Forum on Childhood Obesity will airSunday, February 28 at 7 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable1011 and 11).

The hour-long televised forum will be led by a panel of experts, which include: Dr. Stephen Cook, Asst. Professor, Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center; Dr. Lisa Harris, Pediatric Internist, Rochester, NY; Bonney DeVinney, Vice President and Chief Program Officer, Greater Rochester Health Foundation; and Carlos Cotto, Executive Director of Health, Physical Education & Athletics for the Rochester City School District. They will be joined by a studio audience comprised of Rochester youth and adult respondents from various agencies.
Prior to the broadcast Need to Know, WXXI’s weekly news and public affairs program, will present a preview of the televised forum. It will air on Friday, February 26 at 8:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV. The forum will be available to watch online after the original broadcast on WXXI-TV  at: <>.

Funding for this program is made possible through a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

More about the panelists:
Dr. Stephen Cook is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center. His research focuses on childhood and adolescent obesity from the perspective of epidemiologic research on cardiovascular risk factors to clinical studies on approaches to prevention and intervention. The first area of research is focused on Metabolic Syndrome: a cluster of metabolic and cardiovascular complications of obesity involving excess abdominal fat, elevated cholesterols, high blood pressure, insulin resistance and high blood glucose. The other area of focus is Community and Health Services Research: involving identification, screening, prevention, and management of childhood obesity.

Dr. Lisa Harris is a primary care physician. She is board certified in two specialties – Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, allowing her to care for both the adult and pediatric populations. Currently, Dr. Harris is in private practice in Downtown Rochester. In addition to a busy medical practice, she is the President of the Medical Staff at Highland Hospital, an Assistant Clinical Professor in the departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Rochester and a regular guest on WXXI’s national health care series Second Opinion.

Ms. Bonney DeVinney is Vice President and Chief Program Officer of the Greater Rochester Health Foundation and has over 30 years of experience providing healthcare, conducting population-based community health planning and building community partnerships.
Mr. Carlos Cotto is Executive Director of Health, Physical Education & Athletics for the Rochester City School District (RCSD). Prior to his position at RCSD, he was the Athletic Director for East High School. Athletics has always been an important part of Cotto’s life, whether competing, coaching, or overseeing a sports program like the one at RSCD. It is through athletic participation that he has learned the importance and value of living a healthy and physically active lifestyle.

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