SSM DePaul Health Center and Federation of Catholic Schools Establish Partnership to Support Student and Family Wellness through CatholicFIT Program

Post date: Oct 23, 2014 7:14:37 PM

NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO – October 23, 2014 – The Northeast Deanery Federation of Catholic Schools and SSM De Paul Health Center are pleased to announce plans to work together to promote health and wellness within the 8 Catholic elementary schools of the Northeast Deanery. SSM DePaul will provide financial support for implementation of the CatholicFIT program in 3rd and 6th grade classrooms, as well as resources and professional expertise for addressing childhood obesity.

“We are excited to participate in this important project,” said Sean J. Hogan, President, SSM DePaul Health Center. “Obesity is an important disease that we all need to address as a community. Being a health care provider who is a regional leader in weight loss, this is an area that we have particular expertise. Also being driven by our mission and values rooted in the same Catholic teaching makes this partnership a perfect match. We look forward to the process and the results for our kids.”

Third and sixth grade students will be focusing on the 10 CatholicFIT principles during their regular physical education classes in the spring of 2015. The CatholicFIT program, which connects Christian values and faith with healthy and fit lifestyle habits, was developed by Dave Reddy, MS, CSCS, an expert health and fitness coach and owner of Reddy Health & Performance. Reddy is also a parishioner and school parent at St. Ferdinand Parish. Reddy will coach the PE teachers at each school as part of their participation in the Federation’s Professional Learning Teams.

Reddy sees a strong connection between faith and fitness, between spiritual and physical health, and notes that elementary school is an ideal time for kids to start noticing and reflecting on this connection. “Being CatholicFIT is not about being super holy and super fit—it is about offering universal, values-based programs for our children so when they struggle in either area throughout life, they look back upon this experience for guidance and support,” says Reddy.

In addition to time spent in the PE classroom, students and their families will have the opportunity to access this health and fitness expertise through weekly e-mail messages from Reddy. They will also be invited to attend CatholicFIT workshops at various times and locations, where they can further learn from the experts how to put the principles to work in their daily life as a family.

“By working together as a Federation to support innovative ideas like CatholicFIT, our parishes and schools can engage experts from within our communities to enhance the education we provide students,” said Father Mike Henning, pastor at Holy Name of Jesus Parish and pastor representative for the Northeast Deanery Federation of Catholic Schools. “We are grateful for this new partnership with SSM DePaul Health Center. Together we are going to serve the needs in our community much more effectively.”

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About SSM DePaul Health Center

SSM DePaul Health Center is a 478-bed, full-service hospital and a member of SSM Health Care-St. Louis located near the intersection of Interstates 70 and 270 in north St. Louis County. Founded in 1828, DePaul was the first hospital west of the Mississippi River and remains the oldest continuously existing business in St. Louis. Today DePaul is a Joint Commission-certified Comprehensive Stroke Center, operates the only Level II Trauma Center in its service region and offers the most advanced technology and procedures available including minimally invasive heart, spine, knee, hip and weight loss surgery.. To learn more, visit

About the Northeast Deanery Federation of Catholic Schools

The Federation of Catholic Schools is a formal agreement between the pastors of the eleven parishes in the Northeast Deanery of the Archdiocese of St. Louis to work more closely together in support of the mission of Catholic education in the North County community. To learn more about the programs and goals of the Federation, please visit