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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation Grant Supporting American Diabetes Association's 'Family Link' Program In Connecticut
Date:9/17/2009

MIDDLETOWN, Conn., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of a $1.5 million, three-year Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation grant to the national American Diabetes Association (ADA), the local ADA office will receive $37,500 to fund the "Family Link" program here in Connecticut.

Family Link is a community-based network that connects parents of children with diabetes with parent "mentors"; offers diabetes education, social and networking events; and enables attendance at diabetes camps that provide outdoor activities and help campers build confidence and better manage their disease. It also gives families access to leading diabetes experts, the latest research developments, Web sites, books, newsletters and a wide variety of other educational tools. Additionally, it advocates for the rights of youngsters with diabetes by offering resources to help parents work with schools to create a medically safe learning environment for their children.

"A diagnosis of diabetes means that new challenges must be met every day," notes Louise Butcher, Associate Director of Programs for ADA's Connecticut and Western Massachusetts area. "Family Link helps parents and children meet those challenges by connecting families dealing with diabetes with one another. We're grateful to the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation for this funding for Family Link and its important work."

Each year, 13,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with type 1 (insulin-requiring) diabetes, and more than 1 million kids and adults deal with the disease every day. Type 1 diabetes strikes youngsters suddenly, making them dependent on injected or pumped insulin for life and bringing the threat of potentially devastating complications.

"Diabetes is a health issue of great concern in our state, especially when it affects children," explains Nicholas Korns, M.D., medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut. "Arming youngsters and their parents with tools like those provided by Family Link can lead to better disease management, help reduce medical complications and even extend life expectancy."

For more information about the Family Link program in Connecticut, visit http://www.diabetes.org/family-link/connecticut-family-link.jsp.

About the American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association is the nation's premier voluntary health organization supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy. The Association's mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Founded in 1940, the Association provides services to hundreds of communities across the country. For more information, please contact your local American Diabetes Association office at 1-888-DIABETES (1-888-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org.

About the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation

Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Anthem's inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield 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 and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. To learn more about the Foundation please visit www.wellpointfoundation.org.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans, 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 and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut is available at www.anthem.com.


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SOURCE American Diabetes Association
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