New Blue Cross and Blue Shield Initiative Aims to Significantly Improve the Health of Oklahoma's Children
Tulsa, OK — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) is stepping up its effort to improve the health of kids in Oklahoma communities. The state's largest health insurer launched a major initiative today called "Healthy Kids, Healthy Families," which aims to improve the health of as many as a half-million children. The three-year effort will fund programs that encourage nutrition education, promote physical activity, prevent and manage disease, and support safe environments for children.
"As a company committed to health and wellness, we must continue to be part of innovative solutions to the health challenges we face," said Bert Marshall, president of BCBSOK. "Nearly 75 percent of health care dollars are spent on preventable chronic diseases, and obesity is the leading contributor. Healthy Kids, Healthy Families will be a major part of Blue Cross and Blue Shield's efforts over the next several years to promote healthy habits among young people and build a new generation of wellness for Oklahoma."
Through Healthy Kids, Healthy Families, BCBSOK will focus its resources and time on strategic alliances with local and national nonprofit organizations that best match its commitment to fostering greater community health improvements. Several organizations such as the Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa are already part of the strategic initiative.
"Without the support of BCBSOK, we would be unable to provide a summer camp experience for nearly 1,000 area children," said Carmelita Skeeter, CEO of the Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa. "These summer camps focus on providing our children with the tools and knowledge they need to live a healthy, active lifestyle and give them the fundamentals to take home and share with their families. They also give the children a safe place to learn the importance of well-balanced nutrition, exercise, teamwork, self-esteem, diabetes education and prevention as well as cultural awareness, communications and problem-solving skills."
The Healthy Kids, Healthy Families initiative intends to provide childhood immunizations, create safe places to kids play, offer nutrition education to Oklahoma students, and promote physical activity to children across the state. For more information or to seek partnership and funding opportunities, please visit the Healthy Kids, Healthy Familes website .
"Motivating children to engage in healthy habits such as nutrition and exercise at an early age will likely foster healthier adults," added Marshall. "We're committed to ensuring that our children’s health is a local and national priority so that overweight and obese kids can avoid a road of lifelong chronic conditions tomorrow."
About Healthy Kids, Healthy Families
Healthy Kids, Healthy Families is a three-year initiative designed to encourage health education, promote physical activity, prevent and manage disease, and support safe environments for children. The program works through investments and partnerships with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs to reach children directly, through schools and other third parties. Major founding partners include The OrganWise Guys, KaBOOM! and mobile health vans. The program is supported by Health Care Service Corporation and its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Oklahoma, Illinois, New Mexico and Texas. For more information or to seek partnership and funding opportunities, please visit the Healthy Kids, Healthy Familes website .