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Girl Scouts, Highmark partnership aims to teach young girls the importance of healthy living

Highmark Blue Shield

PITTSBURGH (Feb. 26, 2016) — Young girls at Westinghouse Academy in Homewood, Sto-Rox Middle School in McKees Rocks, Penn Hills Middle School and Woodland Hills Middle School are exploring the fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle while discovering the fun of Girl Scouting traditions as the result of a Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield partnership. The eight-week program for Girl Scouts, made possible by a $10,000 Highmark grant, promotes healthy living by encouraging consistent exercise and positive attitudes.

"Girl Scouts is committed to fostering healthy lifestyles for girls," said Patricia A. Burkart, CEO of GSWPA. "By providing active outdoors programs, encouraging healthy relationships and working with expert partners like Highmark, Girl Scouts helps girls build the foundation for a lifetime of wellness."

The program not only promotes physical fitness and the development of healthy relationships, it also provides a safe, supportive place for girls to discuss health-related topics. During the program at Westinghouse, participants discussed many aspects of healthy and unhealthy living, including relationships, stress, eating habits and exercise.

True to the Girl Scout mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place, the girls plan to share what they’ve learned with their fellow students. The girls will promote healthy living tips and share nutritious snacks and smoothies with their classmates during lunch. They are also working on a communications plan to keep their messages top-of-mind throughout the school.

"Making sure children have every opportunity for good health is of high importance to Highmark,” said Mary Anne Papale, director of community affairs for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. “The Girl Scouts does a terrific job of ensuring that the girls in the participating schools are growing healthy and strong."

Highmark partners with GSWPA to offer Healthy Living Programs throughout western Pennsylvania. In the past three years, Highmark has helped GSWPA reach nearly 4,000 girls through partnerships in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington and Westmoreland Counties. This year, the program has been offered in urban communities through partnership with schools in the City of Pittsburgh, Sto Rocks, Penn Hills and Woodland Hills with plans to include additional schools this spring.

About Girl Scouts

Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership experience for girls and is the leading authority on girls' healthy development. Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. The 2.8-million-member organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, call 800-248-3355 or visit;

About Highmark Blue Shield

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield serves approximately 3.2 million members through the company’s health care benefits business and employs more than 4,700 people in western and northeastern Pennsylvania. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit

For more information, contact:
David Misner
Highmark Health