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November 30, 2004

Anthem Seeks Grant Applicants To Help Fight Childhood Obesity

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Anthem) wants Kentucky school nurses to submit their innovative ideas for promoting heart healthy habits among school aged children. Anthem will give grants of $500-$1,000 for the best programs, to be implemented in the 2005-06 school year. The grants will be awarded to Kentucky schools in April 2005.

"More children are becoming overweight, even obese. School nurses, who are on the front line, know that many of these kids are at risk for developing health problems through poor eating habits and nutrition, lack of exercise and other unhealthy lifestyle factors," said Sam Cramer, M.D., medical director for Anthem's Midwest operations. "Through the Anthem School Nurse Grant Program, we can support creative ideas that address these concerns and allow us to deliver on our mission of improving the health of the people we serve."

Anthem will award $5,000 in grants in Kentucky to facilitate the development of innovative school health programs that are based on research. The money can be used to fund a wide variety of activities that promote healthy lifestyles, reduce cardiovascular risk factors, encourage physical activity, and/or support healthy eating habits.

Eligible applicants include school nurses who are licensed in Kentucky and represent a public or private elementary, junior high, middle or high school in Kentucky. Grant proposals are due no later than February 1, 2005 and programs must be initiated in the fall of 2005.

Anthem is working with the Kentucky School Nurses Association (KSNA) to spread the word. Full details on the grant applications are available on the Anthem website (http://www.anthem.com ). Representatives from KSNA and Anthem will select the grant recipients.

The 2005 grant awards will mark the second year for Anthem's program. Six Kentucky schools, Crawford Middle School (Lexington), Summit View Elementary (Independence), Westside Elementary School (Cynthiana), George Rogers Clark High School (Winchester), Clarkson Elementary School (Clarkson), and Highland Elementary (Staffordsville) received funding to implement ideas proposed by their school nurses in the 2004-2005 school year.

Anthem's mission is to improve the health of the people it serves. The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, including Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky, provide health care benefits to more than 12.7 million people. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky is a subsidiary of Anthem, Inc.; both are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Anthem is the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada, Maine and Virginia, excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. More information about Anthem is available at http://www.anthem.com .

Posted by Tom Troceen