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Health Partners Uses Star Power to Reach Members
Date:9/22/2008

Princess of Salsa Talks Diabetes Control at An Intimate Conversation with La India

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a packed auditorium at Julia de Burgos Elementary School last Saturday, September 13, hundreds of Latino Philadelphians gathered for inspiration and a glimpse of a treasured hero. When Grammy and Latin Grammy-nominated singer, La India, the Princess of Salsa finally took the stage, the crowd hit the roof, erupting in applause. But this was no concert. The world-renowned vocalist, and her 12-year-old niece who has diabetes, were on a mission to help promote diabetes control.

"Diabetes is affecting so many children and Latinos especially," said La India. "There are diabetics in my family, too. I am here today to tell Health Partners' Latino members that I understand what they are experiencing with diabetes and to encourage them to better manage the disease."

An Intimate Conversation with La India, hosted by Health Partners, a not-for-profit health plan serving 140,000 members in the greater Philadelphia region, was one of many recent testing initiatives geared toward connecting members with the health struggles and triumphs of people they admire most. Recent events have featured Philadelphia music legend, Patti LaBelle; Superstar NFL quarterback, Donovan McNabb: and salsa singer, Frankie Negron.

"It's so easy for the population we serve to get dragged down and feel defeated by disease," says Mary K Stom, MD, senior vice president of healthcare management and chief medical officer, at Health Partners. "But a palpable change takes place when they are able to connect with a celebrity who shares and understands their plight. And the numbers speak for themselves. With a newfound sense of hope, more and more of our members are being tested and adopting healthy lifestyle choices."

According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes affects 23.6 million Americans and is the fifth deadliest disease in the United States. Maintaining a healthy weight, a regular exercise routine, and a low-fat diet along with regularly monitoring blood glucose levels are some of the most important ways for diabetics to avoid disease-related complications.

Emceed by La Mega 1310 am radio personality, Maria del Pilar and sponsored by CCS Medical and Bayer HealthCare Diabetes, An Intimate Conversation with La India featured diabetes, blood pressure, foot and eye screenings, a presentation on foot and wound care, a Q&A session with La India and Dr. Stom, and a salsa performance by Philadelphia's Grupo Fuego.

About Health Partners:

Founded in 1984, Health Partners is the result of a unique collaboration among seven area hospitals to create a not-for-profit health plan for residents of Philadelphia. Over more than 20 years, Health Partners has garnered national attention for innovations in managed care, and now serves more than 140,000 members throughout southeastern Pennsylvania.


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