INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As one of the nation’s largest health benefits companies, WellPoint is committed to improving the lives of the people it serves and the health of American communities. In 2012, the company, its foundation and associates advanced this mission by directing millions of dollars and more than 14,000 hours to nonprofit organizations, events and programs working to address some of the nation’s most pressing health needs.
“Creating healthier futures for children, adults and seniors is at the core of everything we do,” said Lance Chrisman, executive director of the WellPoint Foundation. “Through formal and informal programs, WellPoint and the WellPoint Foundation support organizations and programs across the United States making improvements in health. These efforts are strengthened by the generosity of WellPoint’s more than 36,000 associates who make donations of their time and their charitable dollars throughout the year.”
WellPoint’s charitable and community-focused activities are conducted through four primary channels: WellPoint Foundation grants; an annual Community Service Day; the WellPoint Associate Giving Campaign; and community sponsorships. Together, these activities total more than $47 million in current and ongoing community support.
WellPoint Foundation Grants
Through its Healthy Generations grant program, the WellPoint Foundation works to identify the issues most in need of attention and then focuses its grant work on improving health in those areas. As a result, $25 million in open and active grants from the WellPoint Foundation are supporting nonprofit organizations and programs at the local, regional and national levels.
Major grant activities of the WellPoint Foundation in 2012 include:
- American Cancer Society – Patient Navigator Program: A $1.5 million grant to support the Patient Navigator Program in 14 states. The program creates one-on-one relationships between newly diagnosed patients and trained Patient Navigators, who provide information, support and personal guidance throughout a cancer experience.
- American Heart Association – Hands-Only CPR Campaign: Kickoff of a three-year, $4.5 million grant to support the Hands-Only CPR educational campaign and mobile training tour to educate millions of Americans about this lifesaving CPR technique that does not require mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing. Nearly 400,000 Americans suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year, and almost 90 percent die because they don’t get immediate CPR. The educational campaign and training tour are working to provide American’s with the skills they need to feel confident and respond should a cardiac situation occur.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) – Triple Play: Year two of a three year, $5 million grant to strengthen and expand BGCA’s proven wellness program, Triple Play. A recent study of more than 2,000 children ages 9-14 who attend Boys & Girls Clubs showed that Triple Play succeeded in getting them to exercise more, eat healthier foods and feel better about themselves. Triple Play kids increased to 90 percent of the federally recommended amount of daily exercise, which is 60 minutes a day for children, while their peers outside the program decreased to 78 percent.
- OASIS Institute – CATCH Healthy Habits: The conclusion of a two year, $2.7 million grant to greatly expand CATCH Healthy Habits, a unique intergenerational program which pairs adults age 50-plus with children to encourage healthier eating and physical activity. Results have shown both the youth and adult volunteers both benefit from the health-focused activities and programming.
Throughout its grant activities, the WellPoint Foundation places an emphasis on measurable outcomes to ensure that programs receiving funding are truly making a difference. In 2012, this approach was further validated, as two organizations supported by the WellPoint Foundation received recognition for their effectiveness from third-parties and industry experts:
- Health Literacy Wisconsin: Received a 2012 Leonard G. Doak Health Literacy Innovator Award from Health Literacy Innovations for its “Let’s Talk About the Flu” program in the ReadsEasy Publication Award category. A $75,000 grant from the WellPoint Foundation’s local foundation in Wisconsin helped Health Literacy Wisconsin reach more than 940 adults during the 2011-2012 flu season.
- OASIS Institute: The CATCH Healthy Habits program was named a Program of Distinction by Generations United, a national organization focused on promoting life-improving intergenerational programs and policies, and the OASIS Institute was named to the Social Impact Exchange S&I 100, a list that recognizes nonprofits offering innovative solutions and proven results.
Community Service Day
On April 28, 2012, more than 3,500 WellPoint associates, friends and family members volunteered at 170 nonprofit organizations across the country to make a lasting impact and improve health. The company’s associates planted 202 trees, sorted 48,260 pounds of food for distribution, beautified 56 acres of land, engaged with 750 seniors and children, and made countless other contributions to the individuals and organizations they volunteered to serve in their local community.
“Many of our associates regularly volunteer, but we are proud to bring the full strength and spirit of our company together once a year for an extra special day of projects,” said Chrisman. “Best of all, in many cases, the new connections our associates make with the local nonprofits continue long after the conclusion of the event.”
Community Service Day projects benefited a variety of local organizations and resources, including food banks, parks and community shelters.
Annual Associate Giving Campaign
Each year, WellPoint associates have the opportunity to make pledges and one-time donations to health-focused charities through the company’s Associate Giving Campaign. The campaign allows WellPoint associates to not only select which of the eligible charities they wanted to support, but also to direct their gifts to thousands of local chapters and affiliated charities within the campaign’s charities. Associate contributions are backed by a 50 percent match from the WellPoint Foundation – increasing the impact of each dollar contributed. As a result, more than $6.7 million was paid out to the campaign’s six charities in 2012: American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Community Health Charities, Feeding America, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and United Way.
WellPoint and its affiliated health plans also support events and community organizations across the country focused on improving the health and well-being of local communities. This often takes the form of both formal and informal sponsorships, including support for run-walks, contributions to food and clothing drives, and support for school-based programs. Beneficiaries of this support include organizations such as: American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and local YMCAs.
The ongoing efforts of WellPoint and the WellPoint Foundation have been recognized by leading organizations. Most recently, in December 2012, WellPoint Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America received the “Best Partnership” award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC). In addition to the BCLC award, in 2012 the company and its foundation received: Gold Stevie Award for Corporate Social Responsibility; Excellence in Employee Giving and Excellence in Philanthropy awards from the American Cancer Society; Workplace Giving Partner of the Year award from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; and a PR News Corporate Social Responsibility award for the annual WellPoint Community Service Day. The WellPoint Foundation is also a member of the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, in recognition of its continued support of the nonprofits’ disaster relief efforts.
“It’s a true honor to work with so many outstanding organizations and we thank them for all they are doing to improve health and transform lives,” Chrisman said. “We look forward to continuing to find ways to enhance the effectiveness of our efforts, and look forward to working with health-focused organizations in year ahead to create brighter futures and positively impact the health of our country.”
About WellPoint, Inc.
At WellPoint, we believe there is an important connection between our members’ health and well-being—and the value we bring our customers and shareholders. So each day we work to improve the health of our members and their communities. And, we can make a real difference since we have more than 36 million people in our affiliated health plans, and nearly 67 million people served through our 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’s plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). WellPoint also serves customers throughout the country as UniCare and in certain markets through our Amerigroup and CareMore subsidiaries. Our 1-800 CONTACTS, Inc. subsidiary offers customers online sales of contact lenses, eyeglasses and other ocular products. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.
About 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, as well as its Tumblr blog at http://wellpointfoundation.tumblr.com.