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The Humana Foundation and Libraries for the Future Launch Health Literacy Pilot in Atlanta
Date:9/12/2007

Wellness Information Zone Project Helps with Access to Reliable Health Care

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ATLANTA, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- To address the growing problem of low health literacy levels and to help consumers access usable health information, The Humana Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), and Libraries for the Future, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing innovation and investment in our nation's libraries, today launched the Wellness Information Zone, a new consumer health information project in Atlanta.

The program aims to bring together expertise and resources from the two partner organizations to help the 90 million Americans who have difficulty obtaining, understanding and acting on basic health information and services.

The Wellness Information Zone centers will be piloted in Atlanta through a partnership with the Fulton and DeKalb County public library systems. The new high-tech, high-touch Zones will enable Atlantans to access trustworthy information through an innovative, easy-to-use Web site and the option of seeking help from specially trained librarians or volunteer guides.

The information can be obtained through the program's Web site -- http://www.wellzone.org -- or through the Wellness Information Zones located at eight libraries throughout the metropolitan Atlanta area and the nonprofit organization, Genesis A New Life.

"Research shows that low health literacy is the strongest predictor of health problems, more than age, income, employment status or race," said Virginia K. Judd, executive director of The Humana Foundation. "By addressing this critical problem, we hope to positively impact the health of the Atlanta community."

In addition to health information, the Wellness Information Zones will provide links to local resources, such as health facilities and government programs. For those who access information in the libraries, trained and certified librarians will provide individual support. Humana associate volunteers -- called Health Information Guides -- will help residents at Genesis A New Life search for needed information.

"This program seeks to improve the connection between people, their communities, and health information, thereby significantly raising the health status of people and communities," said Bruce Astrein, executive director of Libraries for the Future. "As trusted community centers with skilled information experts, libraries are perfect places for this unique hands-on program."

Drawing upon the experience of the Atlanta pilot program, The Humana Foundation and Libraries for the Future plan to expand the initiative to Cincinnati and Houston later this year, and to five additional cities in 2008.

About The Humana Foundation

The Humana Foundation was established in 1981 as the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., one of the nation's leading health benefits companies. A private foundation located in Louisville, Kentucky -- the site of Humana's corporate headquarters -- The Humana Foundation supports and nurtures charitable activities that promote healthy lives and healthy communities.

About Libraries for the Future

Libraries for the Future (LFF) is a national nonprofit organization that supports innovation and investment in America's libraries. Since 1992, LFF has helped public libraries respond creatively to the changing needs and opportunities of their communities. From 2004-2007, LFF operated as the program arm of Americans for Libraries Council (ALC). Today, the newly- reorganized LFF operates programs in more than 220 libraries in 27 states. Through professional development activities, targeted grants, forums, and research projects, LFF transforms libraries into 21st century community centers for information and education. Emphasizing collaboration between libraries and community groups, LFF links professionals across disciplines - such as health and literacy - to inspire participants to think beyond their own specialties and devise new solutions to shared challenges.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nation's largest publicly traded health benefits companies, with approximately 11.3 million medical members. Humana offers a diversified portfolio of health insurance products and related services - through traditional and consumer- choice plans - to employer groups, government-sponsored plans, and individuals.

Humana is one of Georgia's leading health benefits companies with nearly 70,000 commercial members and more than 125,000 Medicare members statewide.

Over its 46-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Mitch Lubitz

Humana Corporate Communications

Phone: 813-732-0386

E-MAIL: mlubitz@humana.com


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SOURCE Humana Inc.
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