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AHIP Foundation Announces 2009 Community Leadership Awards

SAN DIEGO, June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Last night, the America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Foundation paid tribute to Highmark Blue Shield, Keystone Mercy Health Plan, Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, and L.A. Care Health Plan: four health plans with innovative programs designed to improve the health and environment of communities across the country. They carry on a tradition among health plans of working with local partners in a collaborative fashion to identify specific area problems and implement creative approaches to address them.

"The leadership, commitment, initiative, and cooperation demonstrated by this year's award winners show how each of us can make a difference and positively affect those around us," said Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of AHIP. "Health plans across the country are leading by example to improve the health and environment of the communities they serve."

Each year, academic and philanthropic leaders examine the vast array of services offered by AHIP member companies and choose the very best to be honored. The Community Leadership Awards showcase organizations that demonstrate excellence in community outreach by identifying a specific problem in the community, establishing creative approaches to address the problem, and successfully lead community partnerships toward collaborative solutions.

2009 AHIP Foundation Community Leadership Award Winners

Small/Independent Category:

Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin for their Adopt A School Program, a program to provide primary and preventive health care for children who otherwise would not have access to health care and help them identify and treat issues to support their ability to learn and succeed in school.

L.A. Care Health Plan for their Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Initiative, a unique effort that combines improving physical access to care with health education and community outreach for seniors and persons with disabilities.

Large/Affiliated Category:

Highmark Blue Shield for their PALS Program--People Able to Lend Support, which connects seniors with other seniors in their community through activities to enhance their physical and mental health in addition to reducing isolation by providing new outlets to meet new friends.

Keystone Mercy Health Plan for their 40-Day Journey, a multifaceted, faith-based health education and awareness program for minorities that promotes health behaviors in order to prevent, control, and reverse chronic diseases and stress in an at-risk population.

Programs receiving honorable mentions for distinguished community leadership:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas - Texas Hospital Quality Initiative

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont - Blue Socks for Kids

Group Health Cooperative - Children's Access Fund

Health Alliance Plan - Senior Splash Bash & Moms in Motion

HealthPartners - Mental Health Drug Assistance Program

Independent Health - Fitness for Kids Challenge

UnitedHealth Group - PEACE of Heart Initiative

WellPoint - The WellPoint State Health Index

For complete profiles of these programs, please visit

America's Health Insurance Plans - Providing Health Benefits to More Than 200 Million Americans

SOURCE America's Health Insurance Plans
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