Over the past few weeks, 570 students in Howard County received backpacks filled with school supplies from MDwise, Indiana’s only not-for-profit managed health care organization serving those on the state’s Hoosier Healthwise, Healthy Indiana Plan and Care Select health coverage programs.

MDwise donated backpacks filled with notebooks, pencils, erasers and crayons as part of its “Tools for Schools” program, a statewide initiative that provided more than 10,000 supply-filled backpacks to schools and back-to-school events across Indiana in 2011. Now in its third year, the program will donate more than 10,500 of these supply-filled backpacks across Indiana throughout 2012.

Students who attended Back-to-School events at the following locations received these backpacks and school supplies:

· Wagoner Medical Center in Kokomo

· Indiana Health Center in Kokomo

· Head Start of Kokomo

Charlotte MacBeth, chief executive officer of MDwise, said, “Children spend a majority of their time growing up in school, so we at MDwise strive to make classroom experiences as meaningful and constructive as possible by ensuring that students have the tools they need to learn.”

“MDwise Tools for Schools” is a section of Ms. Bluebelle’s Club for Kids, MDwise’s comprehensive program that promotes the healthy well-being of Hoosier children through special activities and outreach.