INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- WellPoint, Inc., (NYSE: WLP) is pleased to announce that this month it has pledged to donate more than $6 million to support charities in local communities through its Associate Giving Campaign.
WellPoint associates pledged nearly $4 million and WellPoint contributed a 50% match to local charitable organizations selected by WellPoint associates, including the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Community Health Charities of America, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the United Way of America, among others.
In a tradition that began last year, WellPoint will forego internal, company-sponsored holiday celebrations to make a contribution of $50, 000 each to the USO and Feeding America.
"We are pleased to support local charities and to help those in need in communities throughout the country, not only during the holiday season, but throughout the year," said Randy Brown, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. "Our mission is to improve the lives of those we serve and the communities in which we live and our associates embrace this, and live it each day. They are passionate about helping their local communities and local charities, and as an organization we are proud to support, enable and complement the efforts of our associates. It is the power of our associates that allows us to have such a positive impact on the lives of individuals and families across the nation."
Each year, WellPoint, its Foundation and associates donate nearly $22.5 million annually to help meet health and economic development needs of communities across the nation.
WellPoint's impact in communities is felt through hundreds of different programs and grants that are supported from year to year, but also through annual programs including its Community Service Day, which provides associates, along with their families and friends, the opportunity to support nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the health of their communities through volunteerism. WellPoint associates also step up each year to help food banks across the country fill their shelves, and enable them to be better equipped to respond to their communities in need. The Healthy Helpings Food Drive, which occurred in July of this year, collected almost 1,000 pounds of packed and canned food this year.
WellPoint's Healthy Generations corporate social responsibility program has been supported for several years. Although Healthy Generations champions youth health promotion, its overarching national mission is to act as a multi-generational initiative to help improve public health primarily in the 14 states where WellPoint is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Specifically, Healthy Generations funds non-profit organizations whose programs address preventable health concerns through strategic choices aimed at improving several measures included in WellPoint's State Health Index, including reducing obesity levels in children, reducing risk for cardiac mortality among adults, decreasing the prevalence of diabetes among adults, and helping at-risk mothers engage in better prenatal care and commit to behaviors that will reduce numbers of low birth weight babies. Healthy Generations also encourages initiatives that effect smoking cessation and increased flu and pneumonia immunizations for at-risk populations, e.g., seniors and youths.
About WellPoint, Inc.
WellPoint works to simplify the connection between Health, Care and Value. We help to improve the health of our communities, deliver better care to members, and provide greater value to our customers and shareholders. WellPoint is the nation's largest health benefits company, with more than 33 million members in its affiliated health plans, and a total of more than 69 million individuals served through all subsidiaries. As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint does business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield or Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (in the New York service areas). WellPoint also serves customers throughout the country as UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.
About the WellPoint Foundation
The WellPoint Foundation is the philanthropic arm of WellPoint, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the inherent commitment of WellPoint, Inc. to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that WellPoint, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. 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 disease states and medical conditions 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 provides a 50 percent match of associates' campaign pledges. To learn more about the WellPoint Foundation, please visit www.wellpointfoundation.org.
SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.