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What We Do

A new focus for the foundation is the rising epidemic in childhood obesity in our state, which is a direct pipeline to diabetes and heart disease.

The statistics are alarming as 38.7% of Arkansas’ children are now considered overweight and obese.

These children are in grave danger of developing heart disease prematurely if they stay on their current path.

To combat this epidemic, the Arkansas Heart Foundation dba Champions for Health is launching a pilot program with Morrilton Intermediate school during the 2018-2019 school year.

Our goal is to infuse fitness activities and nutrition education on the school campus for both students and faculty!


The pilot project includes implementing a nationally recognized PE curriculum, plus each student will receive a state-of-the-art fitness assessment at the beginning and end of the school year. The assessment will not compare students to each other, but will instead assess fitness and health levels to determine which students may be at risk.

In addition, a school garden is envisioned to teach students where real food comes from, and to show them how to cook what they have grown. The students will also have the opportunity to take field trips to the Arkansas Heart Hospital to visit with AHH doctors and their nationally recognized chef!

The adults on the school campus will also have the opportunity to become heart healthy and inspired by working one-on-one with a dedicated health coach, so the entire school environment will be impacted!   

The foundation’s ultimate goal is to create a replicable model for schools across the state, which means the heart health of every school age child in Arkansas could be impacted by the development of this pilot school!  

With heart disease being the number one killer in the world, our nation, and in Arkansas:  

YOU can help impact these statistics by becoming a CHAMPION for health and contributing to the Arkansas Heart Foundation dba Champions for Health a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated solely to improving the health and fitness of children across Arkansas. 

Donate button can be found at top of page. 


Karey Tapley, Principal - Morrilton Intermediate School (MIS)

Zac Noland - Morrilton Intermediate School

Todd Sparks - Morrilton Intermediate School

Melinda Lentz ,Kitchen Manager - Morrilton Intermediate School

Jerri Clark, Director - School Health Services, Arkansas Dept. of Education

Tina Smith, Director - Policy and Special Projects - Arkansas Dept. of Education

Amy Fecher, Chief Transformation Officer - Office of Governor Asa Hutchison

Miranda Morris, Executive Director - Arkansas Center for Health Improvment (ACHI)

Dr. Tony Goudie, Director - Research and Evaluation - ACHI

Dr. Beth Crowder - Arkansas Heart Hospital

Casey Atwood, Director - Food and Nutritional Services- AHH

Sheron Wiess, Diabetic Educator - AHH

Shelby Pierceall, Clinical Dietitian - AHH

Christine Alongi, Director - Cardiac Intensive Rehab - AHH J

onathan Bierman - Gardener - AHH

Dr. Jeremy Lyon, President - Youth Division - Cooper Institute , Dallas TX (FitnessGram)

Emily English, Program Administrator - Dept. of Pediatrics, AR Children's Research Institute, Childhood Obesity Prevention Research Program

Eric Gist and Darla Henry - Outreach Specialists - AR Children's Hospital (CATCH Program)

Charlotte Hall, Community Liaison - Whole Foods

Marsha Masters, Program Director - Economics Arkansas

Wendy Ward, Co-Director - Pediatric Psychology, UAMS and AR Children's Hospital

Alicia Hugen, Agent - Conway County Extension- Staff Chair

Shannon Autrey, Agent - Conway County Extension Agent, FCS