Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield grants help fight childhood obesity

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation recently awarded the Boys and Girls Club Wisconsin and the YMCA of Greater Milwaukee grants to help fight childhood obesity, an ongoing commitment by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The grants are part of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s commitment to addressing health disparities and improving public health throughout the state, said Dr. Michael Jaeger, managing medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin. Through its State Health Index – a compilation of public health measures – the health plan continually works to identify the issues most in need of attention and directs its charitable support and volunteer efforts toward improving health in those areas.
"The State Health Index truly guides and shapes our work throughout Wisconsin," said  Jaeger. "By tracking our progress year-over-year, we are working to make sure that the programs we support and the fine work of our non-profit partners really is improving health."
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has awarded a three-year $267,892 grant to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to support its health and wellness program Triple Play at local clubs throughout the state.
"Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is committed to improving the lives of the people we serve and the health of our communities and Boys & Girls Clubs of America shares that commitment," said Larry Schreiber, president of Anthem in Wisconsin. "We’re proud to support the Triple Play program because we know that if we give our kids a healthy start, they can hopefully avoid life-long health issues and grow up to achieve their dreams."
The Triple Play program was developed by the Boys & Girls Club of America in 2005. The program encourages members to eat healthier, become more physically active and increase their ability to engage in healthy relationships. Since its inception, more than one million youth have participated in the program.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee has received a $81,573 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation to support NEW Kids at the Y, a program working to decrease the incidence of childhood obesity by promoting healthy, active lifestyles.
NEW Kids at the Y is a lifestyle education program for families with overweight children offered at seven YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee centers. The program is designed by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the Y and offers weekly ongoing support, nutrition and exercise education to families, and the full range of Y programs for getting and staying active and ongoing communication with families’ primary care physicians or pediatricians who receive periodic progress updates from NEW Kids at the Y staff.
The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation grant is funding a program facilitator position for NEW Kids at the Y, new program materials, and instructional staff to help run and expand the program at various YMCA centers in metropolitan Milwaukee.
“The grant from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation is helping the NEW Kids at the Y program reach deeper into the community,” said Janet McMahon, senior strategy advisor of healthy lifestyles at the Y. “With the support of organizations such as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, we are able to continue meeting and exceeding our goal of helping families and children lead healthier lifestyles.”

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