March 2, 2007
BlueCare Family Plan, a HUSKY Health Plan From Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut, Will Help Local Organizations Better Serve State’s Medicaid Members
NORTH HAVEN, Conn., March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- BlueCare Family Plan, the Medicaid (HUSKY) health plan from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut, announces a month-long calendar of charitable giving to statewide organizations - all striving to better serve Connecticut's low income families. The local organizations with which Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut is collaborating include the New Haven Diaper Bank, New Haven; the Foundation for Children, Hartford; Maternal and Infant Outreach Program (MIOP), Hartford; and St. Mary's Hospital Children's Health Center, Waterbury. These community organizations cumulatively will receive more than $100,000 from BlueCare Family Plan, as well as a sizeable donation of disposable diapers to the New Haven Diaper Bank that the health insurer's employees will donate to help the state's poor.
"The BlueCare Family Plan team is delighted to work closely with organizations throughout the state who are equally devoted to quality and affordable health care for all children," said Scott Markovich, regional vice president of State Sponsored Business for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut. "Our calendar of community giving marks the start of several new wellness initiatives we'll be introducing to our BlueCare Family Plan members in the months ahead with the theme, 'Growing up healthy, growing up Anthem.' The programs are aimed at giving children a healthy start, from pre-delivery right through young adulthood," Markovich explained.
March 5 Donation: The Foundation for Children, Hartford, http://www.reachoutandread.org/
The Foundation for Children, the non-profit arm of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, is expanding the number of statewide Reach Out and Read sites as a way to promote pediatric literacy, a cornerstone of early language development and learning. Toward that goal, the BlueCare Family Plan will donate $50,000 to enable this foundation to provide 18,000 books to sites where, "children living in poverty might never get a book to call their own were it not for Anthem's concern and generous donation," said executive director Jillian G. Wood.
Wood alludes to new research demonstrating that participating in Reach Out and Read is linked to a notable increase in the frequency in how often parents read to their children, as well as improved early language skills. BlueCare Family Plan's donation will enable the Foundation to purchase age-appropriate books that will be distributed through a network of pediatric providers to children who attend their preventive well care visits and screenings.
A check presentation ceremony with Anthem's BlueCare Family Plan representatives to the Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics will be held at 10:00 a.m. at the Charter Oak Health Center at Connecticut Children's Medical Center (CCMC), Washington Street, Hartford.
March 7 Donation at 1:00 p.m.: New Haven Diaper Bank, New Haven, http://www.newhavendiaperbank.org/
At monthly costs of more than $100.00 per bottom, keeping a baby in dry, clean diapers is costly. For the state's poor, it can be downright impossible. Infrequent diaper changing increases the risk of many health problems. Also, infants crying non-stop from being in soiled diapers are at greater risk for abuse. For these reasons, Anthem's BlueCare Family Plan will donate more than $30,000 to the New Haven Diaper Bank. That will enable the New Haven Diaper Bank to buy a six-month supply of disposable diapers - approximately 250,000 to 300,000 diapers - for children from newborn through approximately age three. In addition, Anthem's employees will donate a sizeable supply of disposable diapers that they collected during a December holiday drive held at the company's North Haven campus.
"The New Haven Diaper Bank distributes about 50,000 disposable diapers a month," said Joanne Goldblum, executive director of the New Haven Diaper Bank. "Anthem's BlueCare Family Plan recognizes that these are not luxury items," she added. "They are essentials for children living in poverty. With no federal or state supported source of free or reduced-cost diapers, New Haven children are struggling every day and Anthem's generous donation will help alleviate their suffering."
March 9 Donation: Maternal and Infant Outreach Program (MIOP), Hartford
The Maternal and Infant Outreach Program of the Hartford Health and Human Services Department works to ensure that pregnant mothers in Hartford receive early and adequate prenatal care and are healthy throughout their pregnancies. MIOP also provides essentials for disadvantaged children and their families. In support of these efforts, BlueCare Family Plan will donate $10,000 to MIOP to purchase items of top priority to families, including breast pumps, children's clothing, basinets and bedding, as well as infant car seats, which are required for parents to have before their newborns can be released from the hospital.
"Besides offering essential care items, health education, emotional support and case management, MIOP workers search every day to find resources to meet babies' basic needs," said Leticia Marulanda, public health manager, Maternal and Child Health Division of the Department of Health and Human Services in Hartford. "We're enormously grateful to Anthem's BlueCare Family Plan for this generous support."
March 12 Donation: Children's Health Center (CHC) in Waterbury operated by the Franklin Medical Group, an affiliate of St. Mary's Hospital
The Regional Medical Home Support Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs at Saint Mary's Hospital Children's Health Center has been recognized by the Connecticut Legislature, state child advocacy groups and national quality organizations as a leader and best practice in the care of children and youth with special health care needs. This special population of children has become a national focus of health care quality improvement. With Litchfield County Pediatrics in Torrington and the Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Training Program operated jointly by Yale-New Haven Hospital and Saint Mary's Hospital in Waterbury, the CHC has participated in Reach Out and Read to cultivate early literacy and school readiness, but reports that funding is increasingly becoming more challenging to acquire.
Later this month, the BlueCare Family Plan will donate $10,000 to help this organization sustain Reach Out and Read in northwest Connecticut.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut is a subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. WellPoint, Inc. subsidiaries serve more than two million Medicaid managed care members in 14 states. Enrolled Medicaid managed care members have access to a wide network of health care professionals as well as health management programs that are accredited and nationally recognized in several states.
About BlueCare Family Plan:
BlueCare Family Plan, the Medicaid (HUSKY) program of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut, is the state's largest health benefits insurer serving more than 134,000 Connecticut HUSKY members, through more than 1,500 participating primary care providers. BlueCare Family Plan, a community-based model, is designed to break down social, financial and other barriers traditionally faced by Medicaid recipients. In 1995, 11 Medicaid Managed Care plans operated in Connecticut; today there are four, with virtually every hospital in the state participating in the state-sponsored program.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut
CONTACT: Karin A. Nobile, Director of Corporate Communications of AnthemBlue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut, +1-203-985-7187
Web site: http://www.reachoutandread.org/http://www.newhavendiaperbank.org/