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Press Release

Independence Blue Cross Receives CEO Gold Standard Accreditation

CEO Cancer Gold Standard

Independence Blue Cross (IBC) today announces it has earned CEO Cancer Gold StandardTM  accreditation from the CEO Roundtable on Cancer. This ranking rewards IBC's commitment to taking concrete actions to reduce the cancer risk of employees and their families through screenings, early detection, and healthy changes in lifestyle and in the workplace.

The CEO Roundtable on Cancer is a nonprofit organization of cancer-fighting CEOs founded in 2001 to encourage corporate executives to champion workplace-based efforts to eliminate cancer as a public health threat. To distinguish companies that take steps to reduce cancer risks among their employees, the Roundtable created the CEO Cancer Gold Standard in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and leading health professionals.

"It is important for our organization, as a leading health insurer in our region, to set a positive example for our customers and community," said IBC President and CEO Joseph A. Frick.  "Our Gold Standard accreditation recognizes and reinforces our commitment to our associates' wellness. This distinction is both professionally and personally meaningful to me. I urge other corporations to join us in embracing a corporate culture of wellness and to take steps toward Gold Standard certification."

The CEO Cancer Gold Standard calls on companies to evaluate their health benefits and corporate culture and take extensive, tangible actions in five key areas of health and wellness to fight cancer in the workplace. To earn Gold Standard accreditation, a company must establish programs to reduce cancer risk by: discouraging tobacco use, encouraging physical activity, promoting healthy diet and nutrition, detecting cancer at its earliest stages, and providing access to quality care, including participation in clinical trials.

In addition to providing a tobacco-free workplace, a health-conscious menu in its cafeteria, and a fitness center at its headquarters, IBC offers an associate wellness program, I Feel Great!, which provides resources to support the health of associates. The company actively promotes its ConnectionsSM Health Management Program that encourages associates to take an active role in their health and helps those who have everyday health concerns or serious chronic conditions. IBC also enhanced its employee health benefits to cover smoking cessation medication.

"Our Gold Standard certification acknowledges the dedication of Independence Blue Cross to cancer prevention, which begins with building the health of its employees and family members and extends to strengthening the wellbeing of its members and the broader community," said William C. Weldon, chairperson and chief executive officer of Johnson & Johnson, who chairs the Roundtable.

Other organizations that have earned Gold Standard ranking in the Philadelphia region include AstraZeneca, CIGNA, Fox Chase Cancer Center, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Virtua Health, and The Wistar Institute.

Nationwide, more than 40 companies have earned Gold Standard distinction, including the American Cancer Society, the American Legacy Foundation, C-Change, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Duke Medicine, Edelman, Enzon Pharmaceuticals, GHI (an EmblemHealth company), Hogan & Hartson, Jenner & Block, The Lance Armstrong Foundation, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Minot State University, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, The National Cancer Institute, Novartis, The Oncology Nursing Society, OSI Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, PhRMA, PPD, Quintiles Transnational, sanofi-aventis, SAS Institute, The University of North Dakota, US Oncology, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

About Independence Blue Cross

Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. Nationwide, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.3 million people. For more than 70 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross's HMO and PPO health care plans have consistently received the highest ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Independence Blue Cross supports comprehensive health care reform that would extend coverage to all Americans, reduce costs, and improve quality. We also advocate reform that builds on the current employer-based system that currently serves 170 million Americans. Learn more about our views on health care legislation now working its way through Congress.

About the CEO Roundtable on Cancer

The CEO Roundtable on Cancer was founded in 2001, when former President George H.W. Bush challenged a group of executives to "do something bold and venturesome about cancer within your own corporate families." The CEOs responded with the CEO Cancer Gold Standard encouraging its widespread adoption in workplaces across the country.  For more information on the CEO Cancer Gold StandardTM  and the accreditation process, please visit www.CancerGoldStandard.org.

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