Anthem Blue Cross and CareMore Foundations’ Support Creates Opportunities for Society for the Blind Members to Join National Fitness Challenge and Live Actively

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Anthem Blue Cross and CareMore Foundations’ Support Creates Opportunities for Society for the Blind Members to Join National Fitness Challenge and Live Actively

Society for the Blind, a Sacramento-based nonprofit serving blind and
low vision people in Northern California, has received a grant from
Anthem Blue Cross and CareMore Foundations to create opportunities for
individuals to participate in the National Fitness Challenge, an
initiative founded by the United States Association of Blind Athletes
and the parent Foundation of Anthem Blue Cross and CareMore. Society for
the Blind is one of 17 organizations across the nation that is
participating in the National Fitness Challenge and is using grant
funding to offer adaptive yoga classes, walking groups, running clinics
and other sports and fitness activities that can help people who are
blind or low-vision to maximize healthy lifestyles. These activities
will be offered over the course of eight months to help hundreds of
youth and adults to increase physical fitness levels and live healthier
lives.

“The goal of the National Fitness Challenge is to help people with
visual disabilities to live more active lifestyles,” said Shari
Roeseler, executive director, Society for the Blind. “The program
launched during Blindness Awareness Month in October, and through May
31, 2019, will highlight what people with visual disabilities can do,
rather than what they cannot do. We are lucky to live in an age where a
person with vision loss can achieve most anything they set their mind to
doing, and we are grateful to Anthem Blue Cross Foundation and CareMore
Foundation for helping us to empower this year’s participants.”

This year’s challenge integrates technology and social media to inspire
participants to set goals, create team environments and encourage
leadership. Each participant has been provided with a Fitbit Flex 2
wearable – a universal way to measure activities, calories burned and
number of steps taken. Participants also have the opportunity to utilize
Fitbit Coach, which is a personalized training app that provides
adaptive video workouts and audio coaching. Foundation grant funding is
being used to provide Fitbits, fitness and nutritional instruction,
performance prizes as well as technical and financial support for all
participants.

“Research has consistently shown that individuals who participate in
regular physical activity to improve their health have higher energy
levels, lower risk of health-related diseases, improved psychological
health, and lower rates of depression and anxiety,” said Ricardo Young,
CareMore Health Medical Director. “We are proud to support members of
the Society for the Blind through our collaboration with the National
Fitness Challenge, and to create access to activities supporting
healthier individuals and stronger communities.”

More than half of those who are blind or low vision in the United States
do not participate in even a limited physical fitness routine, mostly
due to barriers to accessible fitness or misconceptions about their
abilities. Individuals of all abilities should have equal opportunities
to engage in activities that improve health outcomes, so the National
Fitness Challenge aims to increase access to fitness and health for
blind and low vision people.

“Anthem Blue Cross Foundation is committed to removing barriers and
increasing access to critical programs and services that help
individuals and communities to lead healthier lives,” said Dr. Barsam
Kasravi, Interim Anthem Blue Cross Medicaid Plan President. “We are
proud of our Foundation’s ongoing support of people with visual
disabilities and are confident that this support will go a long way in
helping Californians to improve their overall wellness while enjoying
the physical and emotional benefits of exercise and group sports.”

Since 2011, the parent Foundation of Anthem Blue Cross and CareMore has
provided $1.3 million in grant funding to U.S. Association of Blind
Athletes for the National Fitness Challenge initiative and has impacted
thousands of Americans with visual disabilities by partnering with 40
different agencies across the country. To learn more about the National
Fitness Challenge, visit www.usaba.org/NationalFitnessChallenge.

ABOUT SOCIETY FOR THE BLIND

For more than 60 years, Society for the Blind has created innovative
ways to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to
discover, develop and achieve their full potential. Society for the
Blind has grown from a dedicated group of volunteers to a nationally
recognized agency and the only comprehensive rehabilitative teaching
center that provides services for a 27-county region of northern
California. The nonprofit provides low-vision eye care, life and job
skills training, mentorship, and access to tools to maintain
independence for more than 5,000 youth, adults and seniors experiencing
vision loss each year. For more information: SocietyfortheBlind.org.

ABOUT ANTHEM BLUE CROSS FOUNDATION

Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation LLC,
an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Association promotes
Anthem Blue Cross’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and
well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company
serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that
address and provide innovative solutions to healthcare 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 year-round
Associate Giving program that provides a 50 percent match of associates’
pledges, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers
community service programs. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem
Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbol are registered
marks of the Blue Cross Association.

ABOUT CAREMORE FOUNDATION

The CareMore Foundation is the philanthropic arm of CareMore Health, a
wholly-owned subsidiary of Anthem, Inc. Together, with local, regional
and national organizations, the CareMore Foundation works to enhance the
health and well-being of individuals and families in the communities
that CareMore serves. CareMore Foundation funding is focused on
strategic initiatives working to address and provide innovative
solutions for complex health conditions like diabetes, chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease, and congestive heart failure, and those
promoting prevention and healthy aging. It also supports programs and
initiatives addressing social determinants and barriers to quality care.
CareMore Foundation also promotes the Healthy Generations Program, a
multi-generational initiative with five areas of focus: Healthy Heart,
Cancer Prevention, Healthy Maternal Practices, Type 2 Diabetes
Prevention and Healthy Active Lifestyle.

Published December 3, 2018


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