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WellPoint Launches and Expands Maternity Depression Program
Date:6/10/2008

Awareness campaign targets new mothers in need of support

INDIANAPOLIS, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- WellPoint, Inc., today announced the launch and expansion of the Maternity Depression Program, offered by its affiliated health plans, which provides new moms with depression screenings, education, and support to help them obtain behavioral health treatment during and post-pregnancy.

The Maternity Depression Program is designed to provide information and screening tools to all affiliated health plan members who are new or expectant mothers while simultaneously identifying members who are at high risk for depression. Launched last year, it is currently available to members of affiliated health plans in California, Georgia, Colorado and Nevada and in the central region states of Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Wisconsin and Missouri. The program will be introduced to all remaining members by the end of this year.

Additionally, because postpartum depression (PPD) is usually underdetected and undertreated, the tool kits will be made available to OB/GYN practitioners and pediatricians. These "tool kits" include physician Continuing Medical Education course material, educational handouts for their patients, and sample screening tools.

"The Maternity Depression Program provides new mothers, their family members and physicians with information and tools to identify women at risk for postpartum depression. The physician can then evaluate the mother to better understand her concerns and behavioral changes or if there are signs of significant depression," said Michael Brase, M.D., vice president and medical director for WellPoint's behavioral health unit. "We developed provider tool kits as an enhancement to the Maternity Depression Program after conducting several focus groups with pediatricians, OB/GYNs, primary care physicians and women who have infants."

Members who are identified as being at risk of PPD are encouraged to either share the
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SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
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