Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tri-Celebrity Navy Doctor Andy Baldwin to Lead 420-mile Bike Ride Across Pennsylvania
World-class triathlete, former star of The Bachelor, and my good friend Dr. Andy Baldwin to highlight childhood obesity crisis.
U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Andy Baldwin, M.D., star of 2007’s The Bachelor: An Officer and a Gentleman, will lead a 420-mile bike ride across Pennsylvania in October to raise awareness of the serious health risks associated with childhood obesity. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, at least 20 percent of Pennsylvania children are overweight.
“Our nation’s epidemic of childhood obesity weighs heavy on the future of our youth - and on my heart personally,” said Dr. Baldwin, an eight-time Ironman finisher and three-time USA Triathlon All-American. “As committed citizens and neighbors, we can and must serve as important role models to our children and teach them the power of healthy habits.”
The Pennsylvania Health Ride and Kids Fitness Days will kick off with two assemblies in Pittsburgh schools on October 2. The bike ride will begin in Pittsburgh on October 4 and end in Philadelphia on October 10. Along the route, Dr. Baldwin and others will host public events for children that highlight physical fitness, healthy eating and bike safety. There will also be motivational talks and public forums for parents and educators.
“Studies show that overweight children risk serious health issues as adults, such as coronary disease, Type II diabetes, hypertension, arthritis and even cancer,” Dr. Baldwin said. “The Pennsylvania Health Ride is a fun, interactive way for me to encourage kids and parents to avoid these problems and live strong, healthy lives.”
The Pennsylvania Health Ride will follow the PennDOT S Bike Route and make several stops across the state. Some details are still being finalized, but the schedule is as follows:
• October 2 – Kickoff assemblies at two City of Pittsburgh schools
• October 4 – Ride begins with event in downtown Pittsburgh
• October 5 – Ride to Rockwood (Somerset Co.) Health Fair at Rockwood Elementary
• October 6 – Ride to Everett (Bedford Co.) Health Fair at Everett Elementary
• October 7 – Ride to Chambersburg (Franklin Co.) Health Fairs at Fayetteville Elementary and Cumberland Valley High School (Cumberland Co.)
• October 8 – Ride to Columbia (Lancaster Co.) Health Fair at Park Elementary School
• October 9 – Ride to Valley Forge, Health Fair at Hill-Freedman Middle School (Philadelphia Co.)
• October 10 – Ride into Philadelphia with celebration on Art Museum’s “Rocky Steps”
Dr. Baldwin is working closely with other prominent Pennsylvanians and sponsors to make the Health Ride a success. He will be joined by several VIP riders, including Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H., Acting U.S. Surgeon General; Everette James, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health; and other public officials and sports figures. Community organizations are encouraged to get involved to help spread the word about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Riders are welcome to join the Health Ride at any point along the bike route and participate to their level of ability.
U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Andy Baldwin, M.D. is a physician, humanitarian, and Navy diver at the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington, D.C. where he serves as a spokesman and advocate for Navy medicine. Additionally, as an Ironman Triathlete, and National Health/Fitness Specialist, he assists the U.S. Surgeon General with his initiative Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future - a national program that combats childhood overweight and obesity.