We at the American Cancer Society know that to finish the fight against cancer, we must increase cancer education and screening in underserved communities. Donations from corporate partners like the WellPoint Foundation will enable us to expand our reach into communities with a disproportionate cancer burden, provide services to encourage cancer prevention, early detection and early treatment, and ultimately, save more lives.
ATLANTA (February 13, 2014) – The American Cancer Society will be able to provide more individuals in underserved communities with access to life-saving cancer screenings and community-based cancer education, thanks to a $1.5 million grant from the WellPoint Foundation. The funds will be distributed as grants to local community organizations and health centers in 14 states working to advance the American Cancer Society’s priority efforts to increase awareness, education, and screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers.
Through the 14 grants, community health system partners within underserved areas will work to reduce the cancer burden and provide access to education and screening resources that assist individuals in preventing cancer and finding cancer early.
“We at the American Cancer Society know that to finish the fight against cancer, we must increase cancer education and screening in underserved communities,” said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. “Donations from corporate partners like the WellPoint Foundation will enable us to expand our reach into communities with a disproportionate cancer burden, provide services to encourage cancer prevention, early detection and early treatment, and ultimately, save more lives.”
The American Cancer Society collaborates with community health partners to reach individuals in areas with higher burdens of cancer and limited access to cancer screening. Through the Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) program, the Society provides grant opportunities to increase breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening rates in those communities. Since 2011, CHANGE has implemented and sustained approximately 100 grant-funded projects within underserved communities across the country; educating over 328,000 people about cancer risk and prevention, and providing over 123,000 cancer screenings.
“The American Cancer society and its partners are doing incredible work across the country,” said Lance Chrisman, WellPoint Foundation Executive Director. “These grant funds will be put to good use in the continued fight against cancer by helping to make sure that screening and early detection is available for those who need it the most.”
According to the American Cancer Society, disparities predominantly arise from inequities in work, wealth, income, education, housing, and overall standard of living, as well as social barriers to high-quality cancer prevention, early detection and treatment services. Additionally, persons with lower socioeconomic status are more likely to engage in behaviors that increase cancer risk such as tobacco use, physical inactivity, and poor diet due to environmental or community barriers to opportunities for physical activity and access to fruits and vegetables.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. As we mark our 100th birthday in 2013, we’re determined to finish the fight against cancer. We’re finding cures as the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
Reed Family Crowned Winner, Will Serve as Triple Play Family Ambassadors
On Saturday, January 11, 2014, one family was named a health and wellness ambassador after competing in a multi-week healthy active living challenge. The Reed family from Keesler Air Force Base Youth Center in Biloxi, Miss. emerged victorious in Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s (BGCA) 4th Annual Triple Play Fit Family Challenge, supported by The Coca-Cola Company and WellPoint Foundation. After competing in a six-week challenge, the military family which includes mom Tracy, dad Wallace and their six children ranging in age from 7 months to 16 years old, earned their way to the finale event hosted by three-time Olympic Champion and Boys & Girls Club Ambassador Jackie Joyner-Kersee at Venice Beach, Calif. The Reed family joined four other finalist families and successfully navigated through a challenging obstacle course, competed in a nutrition based game show and performed a family fitness routine.
Showcasing their family’s commitment to healthy active living, the Reed Family will represent BGCA and partners, The Coca-Cola Company and WellPoint Foundation, as Triple Play Family Ambassadors for the year, during which they will inspire, motivate and connect with other families on the importance of youth and family health. The Triple Play program encourages young people and families to focus on making better food choices (MIND), increasing physical activity (BODY) and spending more quality time together as a family (SOUL).
A true advocate of these initiatives, the military family hosted a 5K race within their community to spread the word about family fitness while also raising funds for the Philippines Typhoon disaster relief. With Wallace, dad of the Reed Family, recently deployed to Afghanistan, the Reeds are working together to make serious, long-lasting healthy lifestyle changes that the entire family can implement. These adjustments, which the Reeds contributed to the Fit Family Challenge Blog, include reading and understanding food labels, swapping out fattier meats for a leaner cut, implementing portion control and moderation, and incorporating more snacks with proteins, fruits and veggies into their meal plan. In addition to changes to their nutrition, the Reeds stress the importance of family time, getting the kids involved in fun fitness challenges and checking in with Wallace on a routine basis to share their progress. It is this type of commitment paired with the family’s holistic approach to health that positions the Reed Family as great Triple Play leaders.
“The Triple Play Fit Family Challenge presented us with an opportunity to come together as a family and empowered us to start making healthier choices,” said Tracy Reed, mother of the Reed Family. “We have learned that it is important to make decisions as a family and to challenge each other daily. We love to find exciting new fruits and veggies to bring into our diets and it is always fun for the little kids to incorporate unique activities into exercise routines.”
As the winner, the Reeds will not only serve as Triple Play Family Ambassadors but also receive an active, healthy family vacation including an all-expense paid trip to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. All finalists received Triple Play-inspired Prize Packs, which included items donated by Coca-Cola and WellPoint Foundation. The Prize Pack included a variety of exercise equipment, along with games and other items to make family time more fun. And as a special treat, WellPoint, Inc. gifted each family with tickets to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.
“We are extremely proud of the dedication that the families put into the 4th Annual Triple Play Fit Family Challenge,” said Wayne B. Moss, BGCA’s Senior Director of Healthy Lifestyles, Program, Training & Youth Development Services. “Boys & Girls Clubs of America believes living a healthy active lifestyle is critical to the overall wellbeing of today’s youth – empowering our families with a pathway to a great future.”
The Triple Play Fit Family Challenge is a national competition that incorporates the principles of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Triple Play program into family lives. More than 200 families entered the Fit Family Challenge when it launched in October 2013 and as the nation prepared for the holiday season’s indulgences, BGCA families spent six weeks learning and practicing healthy eating habits (MIND), were physically active (BODY) and spent quality time with each other (SOUL). Challenge activities included trying new fruits and vegetables and eating smaller portions; incorporating fun and unique physical fitness activities into their daily routines; and participating more family-centered activities.
“The Fit Family Challenge takes physical activity and nutrition education - the most important, teachable components of health and wellness – and puts them in a fun, family program,” said Jim Lactaoen, Vice President, West Region Sales, Coca-Cola North America. “Our work with this program helps to empower the families to be wellness leaders and in turn creates healthier, more sustainable communities.”
The finalists were selected based on their involvement and efforts to make true healthy lifestyle adjustments during Phase 1 and 2 of the Challenge. The Top 5 families were coached by two well-known health advocates. Jackie Joyner-Kersee, as the “body” coach and overall spokesperson for the challenge and Dr. Val Jones, CEO of Better Health, LLC, a medical blogger network and education company, served as the “mind” coach served as great assets for each of the families throughout the challenge and were able to bring great insight from a health & wellness perspective. The other finalist families included: The Blair family from the McConnell Air Force Base Boys & Girls Club; The Brodsky family from the Detroit Arsenal Boys & Girls Club; The Livingston-Johnson family from the Boys & Girls Clubs of NW Georgia, and the Wells family from the Boys & Girls Club of the Central Savannah River Area.
“The five families that took part in this competition are truly an inspiration,” said Lance Chrisman, WellPoint Foundation executive director. “By combining healthy physical activities and nutrition with family time, they demonstrated that being healthy can not only be fun, but can also produce great memories that last a lifetime. WellPoint Foundation is proud to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of America because they share our commitment to improving health and strengthening our local communities.”
BGCA offers all families a resource (in both English and Spanish) to help them get healthy as a family – the Triple Play Parents Game Plan. This at-home guide is available as a free download at www.bgca.org/tripleplay.
Triple Play: A Game Plan for the Mind, Body and Soul
A Game Plan for the Mind, Body and Soul was launched in 2005 by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services with support from The Coca-Cola Company to encourage kids to eat healthier, become more physically active and increase their ability to engage in healthy relationships. A two-year study of more than 2,000 children ages 9-14 showed that Triple Play succeeded in getting them to exercise more, eat healthier foods and feel better about themselves. The study found that 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. To date, Triple Play has helped more than one million kids learn the importance of physical activity and proper nutrition. In 2011, the WellPoint Foundation joined BGCA and Coca-Cola as a Triple Play sponsor. Learn more about the program at www.bgca.org/tripleplay.
Source: Boys & Girls Clubs of America press release
From the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross is responding across five states to help people affected by Sunday’s devastating tornado outbreak and severe weather in the Midwest, providing food, shelter and comfort to families and individuals in need.
…Twelve Red Cross shelters were open in the hardest hit states of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio Sunday night. Meanwhile, Red Cross workers also are helping people in Kentucky and Michigan whose homes were damaged from storms. As roads reopen, Red Cross emergency vehicles will hand out meals, snacks and relief supplies in affected communities. Emergency aid stations are also open in some areas where people can get food and snacks, mental health and health care services, and information about what help is available.
The WellPoint Foundation is proud to be a member of the American Red Cross’ Annual Disaster Giving Program and thanks the organization for all it is doing to provide needed services throughout our communities.
Photo above: American Red Cross