HONOLULU (Oct. 19, 2006) – Lt. Governor James R. “Duke” Aiona, Jr. and Department of Human Services (DHS) Director Lillian Koller today joined media personality Dr. Drew Pinsky in celebrating the Hawaii partnership with Discovery Education, a division of Discovery Communications, Inc., to launch a state-wide Internet-based initiative that encourages healthy behavior among young people and their families through Discovery Health Connection.

Dr. Pinsky, a recognized addiction medicine expert who hosts the “Strictly Dr. Drew” series on Discovery Health Channel, participated in the event at Washington Place via a live satellite TV feed from California.

DHS is providing the Discovery Health Connection Web service for free to 29 community groups at 191 locations through a one-year, federally funded pilot project. Participants include the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii, Salvation Army Family Intervention Services, Blueprint for Change, Foster Family Programs of Hawaii, the YMCA and YWCA, along with Women, Infants and Children centers operated by the state Department of Health.

The partnership between DHS and Discovery Health Connection promotes educational achievement while increasing awareness about topics such as drug abuse, underage drinking, tobacco, violence, nutrition, the human body, mental health, growth and development, physical activity and safety.

“Scientific evaluations show Discovery Health Connection’s Internet resources are effective in decreasing substance abuse and other negative behaviors, while improving reading comprehension,” Lt. Governor Aiona said. “Using this Web service to help young people and their families is a promising new approach for our state.”

DHS Director Koller said her agency wants to do everything it can to promote healthy lifestyles, especially among needy families. “By providing this Internet service, we are targeting some of the most critical challenges facing Hawaii,” Koller said. “Including unwanted pregnancies, bullying in schools, domestic violence and obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.”

Discovery Education President Steve Sidel said the Web service’s wide-ranging health and prevention educational content addresses both the mind and the body and is designed to benefit the whole person. “This partnership with Hawaii will extend learning beyond the classroom for children and families across the state,” Sidel said.

The Web site’s educational content meets requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. Included with the service are 14 curriculum programs, more than 500 chaptered videos appropriate for both children and adults, hundreds of literacy lessons, and group learning activities.

Discovery Education produces and distributes high-quality digital video content in easy-to-use formats, in all core-curricular subject areas. Additional information is available online at: www.discoveryhealthconnection.com.


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