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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Honored by March of Dimes
Date:6/5/2008

Anthem joins March of Dimes and Indiana Fever for an evening of celebration

INDIANAPOLIS, June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana will be honored by the March of Dimes on June 7 at the Indiana Fever game for their ongoing support and collaboration to help families with critically ill babies throughout the state and to celebrate Anthem's participation in the successful "March for Babies" walk.

For several years, Anthem has teamed up with the March of Dimes by providing education and support for health care providers and parents to help ensure a healthy future for Indiana's tiniest residents. According to the March of Dimes, one in eight babies in Indiana is born prematurely which can often lead to long-term disabilities with these infants. Prematurity is the number one reason babies are born tiny (low birth weight), sick and struggling to survive. Moreover, with Anthem's State Health Index citing the rate of low birth weight babies as a major public health issue, teaming with the March of Dimes is increasingly important to help reverse this growing trend.

Through its unique Community Resource Centers, Anthem's State Sponsored Business is in an ideal position to help identify local issues affecting Hoosier Healthwise and Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) members and form meaningful community relationships to help improve the health of families and the communities where they live. By collaborating with the March of Dimes, local staff is able to provide expectant mothers with vital resources to help them ensure a healthy pregnancy and avoid premature birth.

"To improve the lives of the members and communities we serve, we need to look at avenues for collaboration that will yield the greatest results," said Leslie Naamon, regional vice president, State Sponsored Business. "By collaborating with the March of Dimes we know we are teaming with an organization that shares our commitment to raise the awareness of premature births and improve the lives of infants in the state."

Additionally, the Anthem Foundation, provided the March of Dimes with a multi-year grant for their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Family Support Program at five hospitals around Indiana. The program is designed to improve communication between NICU staff and parents, help reduce the rate of repeat preterm births and decrease the financial impact on families and on the health care system. Studies show that reducing the rate of low birth weight babies by 1 percent in Indiana would save more than $35 million in medical costs associated with treating these infants during their first year of life.

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 and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana is available at http://www.anthem.com .


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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana
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