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January 18, 2019

Anthem invested $1M to advance health initiatives in Maine in 2018

The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation invested more than $1 million in Maine nonprofit organizations in 2018, supporting efforts to improve the health of communities and engage people in developing healthier, active lifestyles.

The foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine, teamed with local organizations to develop innovative, community-specific programs that offer solutions to complex health issues and create healthier generations of Americans. Those programs focused on cancer prevention, prenatal care, active lifestyles, and substance use disorder.

Anthem employees also donated hundreds of volunteer hours and thousands of dollars in personal contributions to directly assist nonprofits in strengthening the communities where they live and work.

2018’s beneficiaries

Highlights of the foundation's efforts to promote health and wellness in Maine in 2018 include support of the following:

  • Easterseals: $100,000 grant to support care coordination and emergency housing and employment assistance for 1,250 veterans in Maine and New Hampshire.
  • March of Dimes: $40,000 grant to the March of Dimes to fund a smoking cessation program for pregnant women in central Maine focused on reducing preterm births and improving maternal and infant health.
  • YMCA of Southern Maine: The Anthem Foundation once again supported the YMCA of Southern Maine's Youth in Motion program, which encourages overweight youth to get excited about being physically active by matching them with Y mentors and providing the youth and their families a free 12-week membership to the Y. Anthem was also a sponsor of the Peaks to Portland Swim, which helps to raise funds for the Y's youth programming. Total support: $31,250.
  • Operation HOPE: $10,000 awarded to Operation HOPE (the Heroin-Opiate Prevention Effort) to assist efforts to provide recovery services to individuals suffering from substance use disorder.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs: Five local Boys & Girls Clubs in the Portland and Auburn/Lewiston areas each received a $5,000 grant from the Anthem Foundation to help fund a health and wellness program called Triple Play, which promotes the importance of physical activity and proper nutrition among young people.
  • Maine Children's Cancer Program: Anthem once again sponsored its Heroes at Hadlock program in cooperation with the Maine Children's Cancer Program, at which four children who have battled a serious medical condition are honored at a Portland Sea Dogs game with a celebratory home run lap around the bases as well as other souvenirs.

Employees contribute volunteer hours

In addition to support given directly to these organizations, Anthem employees turned their volunteer hours into contributions for the eligible charities they support through our Dollars for Doers program. In 2018, they donated more than 1,300 hours of their time, which generated more than $38,000 in much-needed donations for local nonprofits across the state. Supported by a foundation match, employees' contributions made through the company's year-round Associate Giving Program generated more than $58,000 for local charities.

Beyond the foundation's ongoing commitments with local organizations, Anthem employees across the country came together for Anthem's largest community-based service campaign this fall, Anthem Volunteer Days. In Maine, associates helped prepare meals at Preble Street Kitchen in Portland.

"Anthem is committed to improving the health of our communities and the lives of the people we serve," said Dr. Jeffrey Holmstrom, medical director of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine. "From tackling the opioid epidemic to reducing preterm births and encouraging young people to develop lifelong healthy habits, it is critical we work with local organizations to truly make a difference and improve health outcomes. We look forward to continuing our strong partnerships in the year ahead."

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