SC BlueCross and Foundation Instrumental in State’s Five-Year Obesity Action Plan
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation helped to start the state’s recently released five-year obesity action plan, http://www.scaledown.org. BlueCross President Jim Deyling and BlueCross Foundation Executive Director Harvey Galloway served on the task force establishing the program. Galloway is a member of the task force’s executive group and the company has a representative on the SCaledown.org action team.
“We’ve had anti-obesity efforts underway for years for our members and business accounts, but in recent years we’ve made concerted efforts to get out into the communities to help educate the public. BlueCross has ‘left the building’ to tackle the obesity crisis we’re facing in South Carolina,” said Deyling.
The Foundation’s grants support health-related projects that directly impact South Carolina’s most economically disadvantaged. “One of our seven priorities is obesity prevention. In communities hardest hit by obesity, families often don't have the opportunity to make necessary health choices. We want to remove these barriers by creating places and environments that increase access to healthier choices,” said Galloway.
SCaledown.org is a collaborative of state agencies, businesses and nonprofit organizations working to make the healthy choice the easy choice in South Carolina. The SCaledown.org plan requires action in four categories: communities, work sites, health care and schools/child care.
BlueCross operations and its Foundation have been active in all of these areas for more than a decade. While the company’s medical professionals operate disease management and wellness programs for members that involve weight management, they also offer on-site nutrition and activity education and develop weight loss challenge programs for business accounts.
They serve the public by conducting health events at the company’s South Carolina BLUESM stores and participating in community health fairs and on statewide initiatives such as the South Carolina Medical Association’s Childhood Obesity Task Force and the Diabetes Initiative of South Carolina Outreach Council. They created the Walking Works® for South Carolina Schools annual competition, and they participate in nutrition education programs for students. They also engage the public with a healthy photo competition on Facebook called LiveLifeBlueSM.
The Foundation since 2003 has awarded $2.9 million in grants to nonprofit organizations working to increase access to healthy foods and create more opportunities for safe, physical activity, particularly supporting school-based and comprehensive community-based approaches.
Grants have included Eat Smart Move More South Carolina, Culinary Partners, Fairfield County School District, Greenville County Schools, Joseph F. Sullivan Center, Kershaw County School District, Palmetto Conservation, Rice Creek Elementary, Save the Children, S.C. Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, S.C. Public Health Association, Summit Parkway Middle School, University of South Carolina School of Medicine/SCICORD, and Wallace Elementary.
The company’s efforts are part of BlueCross’ collaboration with physicians, hospitals, customers and the public to achieve improved health outcomes, reduced cost and enhanced patient experience.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., and operating in South Carolina for more than 65 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina (www.SouthCarolinaBlues.com) is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 20 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation also is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.