J. Watson Bailey Takes Home Top Prize in 2017 UnitedHealthcare Health Bee in Kingston

March 02, 2017

Bailey Middle School students were all smiles over their first place win at the 2017 UnitedHealthcare Health Bee Competition. The quiz show-style competition designed to get middle-school students excited about health, fitness and nutrition was hosted by the YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County. UnitedHealthcare CEO Michael McGuire and mascot Dr. Health E. Hound presented the winning team with a ceremonial check. (L-R) Evan Lin, Julie Chen, Amanda Machung, Callie Adin, Vivienne Airhardt and Mckinley Adin. (Photo: Clutch Shot Productions)

A team from J. Watson Bailey Middle School last night won the 2017 UnitedHealthcare Health Bee in a spirited final round in Kingston, earning the school funding for its health and wellness programs.

Twenty-four students from four middle schools in Ulster County competed in the UnitedHealthcare Health Bee, a quiz show-style competition designed to get middle-school students excited about health, fitness and nutrition. UnitedHealthcare and the YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County hosted the competition yesterday at the YMCA in Kingston. Kingston Mayor Steve Noble kicked off the competition and stressed the importance of adopting healthy habits early in life.

Mayor Noble was joined on the judge's panel by Dr. Andrea Littleton of the Institute for Family Health, Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack, Michael McGuire of UnitedHealthcare, and Heidi Kirschner of the YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County.

"Pre-teens are at a critical juncture in their development when they begin to make their own choices about what to eat and how often to exercise," said McGuire, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of New York. "The UnitedHealthcare Health Bee educates students about their health in a way that's fun and engaging. By helping kids understand how their choices affect the way their body works and feels, we help set them on a healthy path to adulthood."

State Sen. George Amedore praised the goals of the UnitedHealthcare Health Bee, saying: "Getting young adults engaged and interested in fitness and nutrition helps them make educated choices to develop healthy lifestyles. The UnitedHealthcare Health Bee is a fun and educational experience for our students that will help us build and maintain stronger communities."

UnitedHealthcare awarded the winning team from J. Watson Bailey a $1,000 grand prize, which will support the school's health and fitness programs. Kingston Catholic Middle School earned second place and a $500 prize, and M. Clifford Middle School took home the school spirit award and a $250 prize. The YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County awarded a one-month free membership to participating students and their families.

State Assemblyman Kevin Cahill congratulated the students who participated and thanked UnitedHealthcare for hosting the Bee. "This event is a meaningful way to get young people concerned about health," he said. "Wellness issues get more challenging to deal with as you get older, and it is important to get students interested in developing a strong foundation on how health decisions will affect their lives. Congratulations to J. Watson Bailey Middle School – they have made their school and community proud."

"The UnitedHealthcare Health Bee lets students celebrate their knowledge of health and wellness, and gives them a head start on the path toward healthy living into adulthood," said Kirschner, CEO/president, YMCA of Kingston & Ulster County. "We are thrilled to join UnitedHealthcare's efforts to build healthier communities with a focus on our middle-school students."

UnitedHealthcare serves more than 4 million people in New York with a network of nearly 280 hospitals and more than 91,000 physicians and other care providers statewide.

About YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County

The YMCA Kingston and Ulster County is a private not-for-profit, community-based organization providing social, health, physical education and recreation services to the residents of Ulster County.  YMCA programs includes school-age child care, health enhancement / fitness classes, summer camps, swim lessons for all ages, special scholarship programs for low-income youth and families & physical rehabilitation programs. The YMCA serves all groups from infants to seniors.

students at contest

Miller Middle School students, Lauren Macisaac, Prya Patel, Joseph Motta and Jack Sickler confer before buzzing in during the UnitedHealthcare Health Bee Competition hosted by the YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County. The quiz show-style competition designed to get middle-school students excited about health, fitness and nutrition gives the students a head start on the path toward healthy living. (Photo: Clutch Shot Productions)

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at or follow @myUHC on Twitter.