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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Eli Lilly and Company Establish Coalition to Help Improve the Health of Indiana Residents with Diabetes

Healthy Hoosiers Alliance made up of health organizations from public and private sector; Will work together to implement new approaches designed to achieve better patient outcomes

INDIANAPOLIS, March 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) have joined with five other leading health organizations in Indiana to form the Healthy Hoosiers Alliance with a goal to fill the gaps in diabetes care by addressing health care quality, safety, access and affordability.

The Alliance is spearheaded by Lilly and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, two organizations with deep roots in the community and a combined 200 years of addressing local health challenges. The Indiana Health Information Exchange, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the American Diabetes Association, the Indiana State Department of Health and Governor Daniels' INShape Indiana are also members of the Alliance.

The Healthy Hoosiers Alliance was conceived in the spring of 2007, when Anthem's parent company met with Lilly in Indianapolis to discuss how the organizations could collaborate and coordinate efforts to measurably improve the health of those living with diabetes.

They agreed that it made sense to begin an effort in their home state of Indiana, where the rate of diabetes is higher than the national average. In 2006 as much as 8.1 percent of Indiana's adult population had been diagnosed with diabetes(1) compared to the national average in 2007 of 7.8 percent(2). The consequences of diabetes are costly. In 2007, the total annual economic cost of diabetes in the United States was estimated to be $174 billion(2).

By the fall of 2007, the Healthy Hoosiers Alliance was chartered, strategies were developed and project teams were formed.

"The Healthy Hoosiers Alliance was conceived with the recognition that by combining our expertise and resources as never before, we can have a greater, more coordinated impact on the health of our community," said Jack Bailey, Lilly vice president for account based markets.

"Our impact will be more significant and lasting when we work as a team, compared to each of our organizations acting separately, or in isolation," said David Lee, M.D., vice president of health care management for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana.

One of the Alliance's first endeavors is to provide a resource called Nutrition in the Fast Lane, a guide to help select more healthy eating choices from the thousands of menu options at 26 of the most frequently visited fast-food and casual dining chains in Indiana.

"In our fast-paced society, we too often find ourselves without time to prepare a healthy meal and instead grab a meal on the go," said Joshua Gonzales of INShape Indiana. "Some menu items are more healthy than others. Nutrition in the Fast Lane provides nutritional information, such as fat content, cholesterol, sugars and sodium."

"Obesity is often a precursor to diabetes," said Jennifer Pferrer, Executive Director for American Diabetes Association Indiana Area. "By addressing obesity, a person can reduce the chance of developing diabetes."

Nutrition in the Fast Lane can be ordered online and free of charge at the Healthy Hoosiers Web site The site also provides links to other resources.

A separate initiative by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana as part of its involvement with the Healthy Hoosiers Alliance involves ongoing outreach to thousands of people with diabetes who live in Indiana. Policyholders who have diabetes, but have not received recommended diabetes testing will receive reminder phone calls to encourage them to have these tests performed and to follow up with their doctors as appropriate.

"Diabetes affects the quality of life of thousands of Hoosiers," said Judy Monroe, M.D., Indiana State Health Commissioner. "In addition, in 2007 the total economic cost of diabetes in the United States was estimated to be $174 billion. We hope the work of the Healthy Hoosiers Alliance will positively impact the quality of life and the cost of health care for those affected by diabetes."

Long term, the Alliance plans to provide Indiana physicians with educational tools that can help empower their patients to better manage diabetes in between doctor's office visits.

"The Healthy Hoosiers Alliance recognizes that it takes more than medicine to overcome the challenges posed by diabetes," said Linda Gann, Executive Director for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Indiana State Chapter. "By effectively engaging Indiana residents with useful informational resources and on-going support, we can enable individuals to adopt better self-management behaviors and learn new ways to overcome the day-to-day challenges of life with diabetes."

(1) Indiana State Department of Health report, February of 2008

(2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2007


About Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers -- through medicines and information -- for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. (R) ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana is available at

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SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company
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