Healthe Foundations
Take Charge of Your Health
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Why Healthe Foundations

Making healthy choices as a high schooler can be difficult for many reasons. And if your students aren’t making healthy choices the results can be life-altering. Healthe Foundations teaches students about preventable health conditions and encourages lifelong personal wellbeing through technology. This project-based program reinforces positive health-related decisions.

Project-based learning

With Healthe Foundations, students investigate, diagnose and treat their “virtual” patient with a preventable medical condition. During the program, each student explores a role in a team of health care professionals (doctor, nurse, technologist, etc.) and shares their findings in an oral presentation.

Skills for the future

Students who understand accountability, productivity, responsibility and self-direction tend to be better prepared in school, work and life. Healthe Foundations reinforces these skills and incorporates critical thinking, problem solving, communication, presentation and collaboration.

Interactive experience

Attention spans are sharply declining and Healthe Foundations keeps students’ attention by using a variety of electronic media and health care technology. Students examine their patient, review test results and explore their electronic health record through a virtual environment.

How Healthe Foundations Works

During this online program, your classroom is turned into a virtual health care facility where students collaborate as a team of medical professionals (physician, nurse, technologist, pharmacist, medical and health services manager and health coach) to improve the health of their patient. Healthe Foundations promotes healthy lifestyle choices, preventable medical condition awareness and positive health-related decisions.

Your students

Healthe Foundations addresses preventable medical conditions that are most relevant to today’s students using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) leading causes of death. Students research a fictional patient story to comprehend the impact of lifestyle choices and consequences of actions. They also learn about the importance of informed decision-making and goal setting.

Your teachers

Teachers like having the flexibility to customize when and where they facilitate Healthe Foundations. They receive a curricular program, along with comprehensive training and resources, that reinforce many of the National Health Education Standards. To continually improve the experience, we also make regular enhancements based on teacher feedback.

Your data

Teachers and school administrators need to be able to show progress, so within a month of completing the program, Healthe Foundations provides a school-wide report card. This demonstrates how students performed in each of the eight content areas (includes diagnosing and preventing the condition, identifying the cause(s), long-term effects, and symptoms).

About First Hand

First Hand was founded by Cerner leaders Jeanne Lillig-Patterson, Neal Patterson and Cliff Illig in 1995, to fill the gaps in health care for children. As Cerner has evolved, so has First Hand’s health and wellness programming. By building innovative models for healthier tomorrows and replicating those models globally, First Hand has changed the lives of more than 594,000 individuals in 93 countries.

  • Our Beginning


    First Hand Foundation’s Board of Directors challenged the foundation to develop a program, geared towards high school students, that would empower them to ‘take charge of their health’.

  • What do Teachers Need?

    Fall 2009

    We surveyed local educators to help shape the program.

  • Our Starting Point

    Fall 2010

    The first four schools implemented Healthe Foundations with 110 students participating.

  • Interactive experience

    Fall 2011

    ‘Virtual Physical Exam’, a clinical exploration tool, was added to all patient stories providing students a more interactive experience.

  • 10,000+ Students

    Fall 2014

    We began using Google(TM) to increase program collaboration with students and as a way to share program resources with educators. We formed our Teacher Advisory Board (TAB) to help direct program growth and future enhancements. And, by the end of the school year, over 10,000 students had participated in Healthe Foundations since inception.

  • New website launched

    Fall 2017

    Healthe Foundations launched a new website, providing students and educators an improved navigation experience and quicker access to program resources. A mental health component was added to all patient stories. We also revised our first patient, to offer a modified experience for students with lower ability levels.

  • 40,000+ Students

    Spring 2019 & Fall 2019

    40,000 student have participated in Healthe Foundations since the program began in 2010. In the Fall, we launched an online training program for new teachers, allowing us to reach even more students.

Our Team

Amy Merritt

Program Manager

Kyle Santoro

Program Manager

Contact Us

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