MILWAUKEE, Dec. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As a part of its mission to improve the lives of the people it serves and the health of Wisconsin communities, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield today announced that the health plan, its corporate foundation and associates contributed $744,622 dollars and 660 volunteer hours to health-related causes and community events in 2011.
"Our company exists to improve health, and we are just as proud of the work we do in our communities as we are of the outstanding services and benefits we provide our members," said Larry Schreiber, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin. "By supporting local organizations and events, we are working to help provide kids and families with the programs and information they need to live their healthiest lives possible."
Through its State Health Index – a compilation of public health measures – and Healthy Generations grant program, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its foundation work to identify the health issues most in need of attention and then direct charitable support and volunteer efforts toward improving those areas. Major areas of focus for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in 2011 were promoting youth health, preventing unnecessary preterm births, helping people quit smoking, and raising flu vaccine awareness.
Projects and organizations receiving support from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation this year included:
- American Lung Association -- $75,000 to support the Freedom from Smoking and N-O-T (Not on Tobacco) programs;
- Boys & Girls Clubs of America -- $16,500 to support and expand the Triple Play wellness program in Wisconsin;
- Health Literacy Wisconsin -- $75,000 to provide 50 plain language educational workshops throughout Wisconsin on the topic of flu prevention and treatment in the fall and winter of 2011-2012; and
- March of Dimes -- $25,000 to support CenteringPregnancy, a group-based prenatal care program that works to reduce preterm births and improve birth outcomes.
In addition to grants, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield contributed more than $99,300 to health-related events, community organizations and nonprofits to enrich the quality of life throughout Wisconsin, including:
- ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Association – Evening of Hope;
- Alzheimer's Association – Mardi Gras Gala;
- American Cancer Society – Relay for Life, Fond du Lac;
- American Diabetes Association – Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes;
- American Lung Association – Fight for Air Climb;
- Children's Museum of La Crosse – Big Muddy Run;
- I Back Jack Foundation (pediatric cancer research) – World's Largest Game of Bananagrams;
- Sojourner Family Peace Center – Evening of Hope;
- Susan G. Komen – Race for the Cure Southeast Wisconsin; and
- Wisconsin Badger Camp.
These sponsorships were supplemented by informal charitable activities and donation drives organized by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield's offices and business units over the course of the year. Beneficiaries of these efforts included: BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Cell Phones for Soldiers, Children's Service Society of Wisconsin, Solutions Center of Fond du Lac, and Volunteer Center of Greater Milwaukee.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield associates also contributed personally and financially to improving their communities in 2011.
Through the company's Associate Giving Campaign in November, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield associates pledged $136,512 to six beneficiaries – American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Community Health Charities, Feeding America, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and United Way. Campaign pledges are backed by a 50 percent match from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, bringing the total pledged to the health organizations to $204,768.
Company associates and their families also volunteered at community organizations throughout Wisconsin during the company's Community Service Day on April 30, 2011. Taking place at 13 sites throughout the state, the annual effort benefitted nonprofits dedicated to improving the quality of life in local communities including: Growing Power, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin, Special Olympics Wisconsin, Green Bay Botanical Garden, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fond du Lac, and Second Harvest Food Bank of Southern Wisconsin.
"Wisconsin is filled with outstanding community and nonprofit organizations that are moving our state forward," said Schreiber. "Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is fortunate enough to collaborate with many of these organizations and we look forward to continuing this work in the years ahead."
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin (BCBSWi), which underwrites or administers the PPO and indemnity policies; Compcare Health Services Insurance Corporation (Compcare), which underwrites or administers the HMO policies; and Compcare and BCBSWi collectively, which underwrite or administer the POS policies. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Anthem's inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company's annual associate giving campaign and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates' campaign pledges. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin