$150,000 Grant Working to Strengthen Cancer Care in Colorado

American Cancer Society program connects newly-diagnosed to needed services

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield today announced additional resources for cancer patients are in Colorado thanks to a $150,000 grant from its corporate foundation to the American Cancer Society. The funds are supporting two Patient Navigator sites – one at St. Joseph Medical Center in Denver and one at Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge – that provide personalized information and support to individuals and families coping with cancer diagnoses.

“After someone is told they have cancer, they often don’t know what their next steps should be,” said Terry Music, chief mission delivery officer, American Cancer Society. “The Patient Navigator program is designed to help those newly diagnosed patients and their caregivers by providing personal guidance and increased access to resources and support.”

The American Cancer Society Patient Navigation Program creates one-on-one relationships between newly diagnosed patients and trained patient navigators, who provide information, support, and personal guidance throughout a cancer experience. Patient navigators are available to help patients and their families face the psychological, emotional, and financial challenges that cancer can bring. The service is free and confidential, and places an emphasis on assisting medically underserved populations.

“In addition to the outstanding research they do, the American Cancer Society offers a wide variety of services and programs to help cancer patients,” said Mike Ramseier, president and general manager of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado. “The Cancer Society’s Patient Navigators are experts at understanding how to link patients and their families with the services and information they need. They bring everything together in a one-stop-shop type of way that helps to ease the stress of navigating the health care system so cancer patients can focus on getting better.”

In addition to the in-person services available at St. Joseph Medical Center and Lutheran Medical Center the American Cancer Society and its Patient Navigators can be reached anytime of the day or night by calling 1-800-ACS-2345.

The American Cancer Society launched its Patient Navigation Program in 2005 in collaboration with community-based hospitals and cancer centers to decrease the fragmentation of cancer treatment services and increase access to cancer treatment among uninsured and underserved individuals. Through the program, the Society has placed trained staff in 134 hospitals and treatment centers across the country, as well as in centralized call centers serving large regions to assist cancer patients as they begin treatment.

St. Joseph and Lutheran medical centers were selected as Patient Navigator sites because both facilities serve a wide cross-section of the population, including many medically-underserved and low income patients. In the American Cancer Society’s 2010 fiscal year, the Patient Navigator program served more than 1,400 patients through the two locations.

The grant dollars for Colorado are a part of a larger, $1.5 million commitment from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s parent company foundation that is supporting 17 Patient Navigator programs in 14 states. In addition, Anthem’s Colorado employees this year contributed another $275,000 to the American Cancer Society through its annual associate giving campaign.

Through its State Health Index – a state-by-state compilation of public health measures – and Healthy Generations grant program, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its foundation work to identify the health issues most in need of attention and direct charitable support and volunteer efforts toward improving those areas. Expanding access to cancer care and information is a focus of the foundation.

“We are grateful for the continued support of the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation which is helping make a positive difference and provide support for cancer patients when they need it most,” Music said.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Rocky Mountain Hospital and Medical Service, Inc., an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation

Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Anthem’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s annual associate giving campaign and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.


Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Joyzelle Davis, 303-831-2005
[email protected]
American Cancer Society
Andrew Becker, 212-237-3899
[email protected]

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