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Anthem Blue Cross Associates Pledge More Than $2.6 Million to Community Organizations

Submitted by: Wellpoint Health Networks, Inc.

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions, Volunteerism

Posted: Dec 24, 2008 – 02:32 PM EST


Statewide, Not-for-Profit Organizations Large and Small Receive Support from Annual Associate Giving Campaign

Dec. 24 /CSRwire/ - WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., Dec. 24 /PRNewswire/-- Anthem Blue Cross announced today that its associates have pledged more than $2.6 million to support more than 1,500 California-based not-for-profit organizations in 2009 as part of the company's annual Associate Giving Campaign. Anthem Blue Cross' parent company's foundation will match 50 percent of associate pledges, increasing the total to more than $3.9 million statewide.

"Every day our associates work to bring value to the health care system and our health plan members. The generosity shown during this year's campaign is truly remarkable," said Leslie A. Margolin, plan president and general manager, Anthem Blue Cross. "This year's campaign demonstrated the generosity of our associates and their compassion and commitment to supporting the communities where we live and work."

Nationwide, associates of Anthem's parent company pledged more than $16 million to nearly 10,000 charities.

During 2008, Anthem Blue Cross and the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation will have provided nearly $7 million in associate contributions, charitable donations and sponsorships here in the state of California. Its parent foundation provided more than $2.2 million of that total in grants to agencies across the state.

In California, Foundation grants were awarded to the Governor's Council on Fitness and Sport to promote school-based programs to combat the state's growing problem of childhood obesity. Other notable initiatives included the company's sponsorship of a Health Fair Screening Bus that toured regionally in the fall and December holiday season offering 'the Gift of Health' in the form of preventive health screenings and flu shots to the uninsured.

Professional health organizations and academic foundations also benefited in 2008 from Foundation grants. The California Latino Medical Association (CaLMA) received more than $265,000 as part of a multi-year million-dollar-plus commitment while the Dodgers Dream Foundation and the Los Angeles Times in Education received support of $210,000 and $150,000 respectively. The California Dental Foundation received a grant of $50,000 while the University of Southern California's School of Pharmacy received $138,000 and the University of California Los Angeles 'Fit for Residence' program received $136,500.

"Partnering with many community agencies, other foundations and not-for-profits allows us to reinforce important programs that are vital to the public safety net and health in general," noted Margolin. "In difficult economic times such as these, the role of these agencies is more important than ever in helping communities maintain important and vital services for those in need."

Other examples of community involvement she cited included Anthem Blue Cross associates supporting the 2008 AIDS Walk/Los Angeles campaign, the American Diabetes Association's Walnut Creek Walk, and sponsorship of cycling teams that rode hundreds of miles in support of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of San Diego and the Best Buddies Foundation, which supports the needs of intellectually disabled individuals.

Statewide, more than 650 associates and family members participated in the company's first-ever 'Community Service Day' on April 26th. They volunteered to work on community projects such as building fitness trails, clearing hiking trails, painting community centers and supporting the March of Dimes 'March for Babies' annual fund-raiser.

The company has also been a major corporate sponsor of the Governor's Council on Fitness and Sport, where it has underwritten the 'Live Like a Champion' tour. The statewide program consists of interactive exhibits that encourage children and young adults to participate in popular sports as part of its 'Stay Active. Stay Healthy' message.

"Through the efforts of our foundations across the country we can help address local health concerns," said Caroline 'Caz' Matthews, president of the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation. "But we go beyond simply providing dollars by giving of our time through our national Community Service Day, where associates volunteer in our communities to have an even greater impact. In the end, our focus allows us to have a measurable and sustainable impact on critical health care needs in the communities we serve."

About Anthem Blue Cross

Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. (R) ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association.

About the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation

Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Association promotes Anthem Blue Cross's inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to reduce the number of uninsured as well as organizations and nonprofit charities that promote 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. (R) ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbol are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association. To learn more about the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation please visit www.wellpointfoundation.org.

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