Doug E. Fresh Delights 200 Elementary and High School Students During Touro College’s Project Aspire Program at Harlem Hospital Center to Learn How to Combat School-Age Obesity

Date: October 01, 2009
Media Contact:

Barbara Franklin
Director of Communications
212-463-0400 x5530

Touro’s School of Health Sciences, Graduate School of Education, College of Osteopathic Medicine, and College of Pharmacy Partnered with Harlem Hospital Center’s Hip Hop H.E.A.L.S. Program.

New York, N.Y. – More than 200 students, grades pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, from P.S. 197 and P.S. 4 in Harlem and the Bronx High School for Medical Science, gathered at Harlem Hospital Center to learn from Touro College’s Project Aspire program how to combat school-age obesity, diabetes, and to learn signs of an individual having a stroke.

The students were treated to a live performance by legendary hip hop artist Doug E. Fresh, who partnered with Harlem Hospital’s Dr. Olajide Williams, the “Hip Hop Doc,” to co-create the Hip Hop Stroke™ program. Doug E. Fresh swapped out lyrics to his hit songs in exchange for messages about eating fruits and vegetables, and burning calories through exercise. Excited students joined him on the stage in the auditorium at the hospital for a festive dance and sing-a-long.

Robert Goldberg, D.O., dean of Touro’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) led a productive discussion with the students about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Goldberg said, “Now that you have learned about healthy foods and exercise, teach your friends and family. We are all partners when it comes to staying healthy.”

Project Aspire, a public health initiative of the Children’s Health Education Foundation at Touro College, brings real-life, interactive health education lessons into schools to encourage students to lead healthy lifestyles and pursue health careers, including becoming physicians and pharmacists at such places as TouroCOM and Touro College of Pharmacy, both in Harlem. Project Aspire is a valuable pipeline to identify minority students who may wish to pursue careers as doctors, helping fulfill TouroCOM’s mission of serving the underserved and reaching out to the community.

At the event, the Project Aspire team taught the students about exercise through its “Motion is the Potion” daily exercise for life-long health component, and by showcasing aerobic interactive video games, healthy cooking demonstrations, and advice on health careers, including medicine.

TouroCOM students handed out stethoscopes, and the College of Pharmacy provided label literacy information dealing with prescription medicines and over-the-counter drugs. Professional chefs trained at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health, a Project Aspire partner, prepared complimentary healthy lunches for all, including sandwich wraps, fruit, and water.

The award-winning Harlem Hospital/National Stroke Association’s Hip Hop Stroke™ program had the students on their feet as they learned a rap song that teaches the signs of stroke. The students learned to look for changes in the face, a limp arm, slurred speech, and to call 911 if they think an individual is having a stroke.

Other partners at the event were Sesame Street Reads, Central Harlem Health Revival, GameBike™ and GamePad™, GE Healthcare, Sanofi Aventis, and Columbia University Medical Center.