Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma Gift To Support Diabetes and Cancer Patients
Oklahoma City, OK — In an effort to improve health care for Oklahoma's underinsured and uninsured citizens, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma is providing funding to support the work of the OU Cancer Institute and the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center.
The OU Cancer Institute will utilize the funds to provide support services to low-income patients who need help navigating the medical, financial and educational aspects of cancer treatment, regardless of their financial or insurance resources.
"This gift will provide much-needed assistance to Oklahomans with limited resources who are battling cancer," said Robert S. Mannel, M.D., director of the OU Cancer Institute. "We know that far too many people make treatment decisions based on economic factors rather than medical factors, and this gift from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma will help relieve a tremendous burden for families."
Diabetes awareness and education will be the focus of a new program at the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center. Focusing on five Oklahoma counties with the greatest diabetes health disparities, the program will work with local communities to provide screening for diabetes and information regarding lifestyle changes and health care options.
"We will focus on communities that have high numbers of residents at risk of diabetes and low access to quality health care," said Timothy Lyons, M.D., director of the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center. "We want to encourage Oklahomans who are at risk of diabetes to change their eating and exercise habits to reduce the risk, and we want to encourage those who have been diagnosed through our screenings to seek treatment."
A division of Health Care Service Corporation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma is the state's oldest and largest private health insurer and provides benefits for more than 600,000 Oklahomans. Through many philanthropic efforts, Blue Cross works to improve the health of Oklahomans, especially the underinsured and uninsured.
"Oklahoma has an unacceptably high rate of uninsured — more than 19 percent," said Bert Marshall, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. "These innovative programs at the University of Oklahoma will provide important resources to families dealing with devastating health problems, cancer and diabetes. We are proud to help." Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma's financial support of OU's programs totals approximately $185,000.
For additional information regarding the OU Cancer Institute, visit www.OUCancer.org . For additional information regarding the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center, visit www.OklahomaDiabetesCenter.com . For additional information regarding Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, visit www.bcbsok.com.