Verizon Foundation Awards $25,000 to Partners Healthcare Center for Connected Health

Boston-area students will be taking steps toward healthier lifestyles, thanks to a Partners Healthcare Center for Connected Health program supported by the Verizon Foundation.

A $25,000 Verizon Foundation grant will support a text-messaging program that promotes good health and nutrition, incorporating tracking of the students' daily activity. Students aged 11-17 will receive a wireless pedometer to measure the distances they walk and track the time they spend being active.

Via text messaging, the students will receive educational messages, encouragement to be active and personalized feedback based on each student's goals. The text messages, available in English and Spanish, will be designed to provide information, engage the students in improving their health, and show them how increased activity and good nutrition lead to a healthier lifestyle.

The Verizon Foundation presented the grant to the Partners Healthcare Center for Connected Health Friday (Oct. 21) at the Connected Health Symposium, where more than 1,200 health technology professionals gathered to discuss how technology can improve the delivery and effectiveness of health care.  

"The Verizon Foundation invests in projects that provide technology that helps people access information on critical health issues," said Peter Bowman, vice president of external affairs for New England.  "We also support creative technology solutions that enable health care providers to increase their efficiency, effectiveness and reach.  We appreciate the Center for Connected Health for its leadership in developing innovative, technology-driven health care solutions."

This grant brings Verizon's commitment to Partners Healthcare and the Center for Connected Health's initiatives to nearly $150,000 over the past four years.

"The Center for Connected Health is creating effective, new solutions and innovative interventions to deliver quality patient care outside of the traditional medical setting," said Joseph Ternullo, associate director of the Center for Connected Health.  "We are pleased that Verizon is partnering with us to help expand the reach of technology solutions to help children make healthy lifestyle choices."

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 107 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  A Dow 30 company with $106.6 billion in 2010 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 195,000.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

About the Center for Connected Health
The Center for Connected Health, a division of Partners HealthCare, is creating effective, new solutions and innovative interventions to deliver quality patient care outside of the traditional medical setting. Our programs use a combination of remote-monitoring technology, sensors, and online communications and intelligence to improve patient adherence, engagement and clinical outcomes. The Center also offers expert online second opinions, virtual visits, and engages in innovative research to uncover new models for better care. The Center's Consulting Services assist companies, providers and other organizations to learn more about entering the connected health space and to prepare products and services for integration into the healthcare delivery system. Visit www.connected-health.org.