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Press Release

Independence Blue Cross Teams Up with Physicians and Hospitals to Help Stop Diabetes

Philadelphia, PA - August 24, 2011 - Independence Blue Cross (IBC) reaches out to its broad network of more than 100 participating hospitals and 39,000 physicians to request the health community’s participation in the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Walk with Your Doc program. As part of this year’s Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, Walk with Your Doc encourages health care providers and their office staff to create a walking team and to recruit their patients to join them at the October 1 event.As the presenting sponsor for the Philadelphia Step Out walk, IBC upholds its firm commitment to bring all members of the community together to raise awareness about the risk factors for diabetes and preventative measures, as well as diabetes treatment, management, and steps towards improved health.

Despite its name, Walk with Your Doc isn’t just for doctors. The program is designed for all types of health care providers at a practice to come together and form a walk team, including hospitals, nurses, physician assistants, diabetes educators, as well as support staff and patients. By walking, doctors inspire healthy physical activity in their patients and patients in turn appreciate knowing that their doctor is willing to go above and beyond to fight to stop diabetes.

People at any age can get diabetes, but more importantly, people at any age can stopdiabetes. Physician groups and hospitals who participate in ADA’s Walk with Your Doc program have the unique opportunity to promote diabetes awareness and the benefits of living a healthy, active lifestyle to patients outside of the office setting.

According to the ADA, there are nearly 26 million people in the United States who have diabetes, and that number is expected to rise in the coming years. In fact, a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that up to one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050. In the Philadelphia region, the statistics are even more alarming. Diabetes affects 11 percent of people in our region, higher than the national average of 8.3 percent of the population, and a quarter of those affected are not aware that they have the disease.

in the community by stopping diabetes,” said IBC senior vice president and chief medical officer, Dr. Richard Snyder. “We’ve already witnessed the incredible benefits that patients experience when they participate in diabetes support groups, and the Walk with Your Doc program builds on that practice. Medical professionals who participate in the Step Out event have the opportunity to not only impact the patients who rely on them, but also to help fund ADA’s community education programs and critical research projects that can improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.”

The family friendly 5K fundraising walk will take place at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Saturday, October 1, 2011. Adults and children of all ages and fitness levels are encouraged to participate. Funds raised through Step Out are used to support ADA’s ongoing research, education, and advocacy efforts in this region and nationwide. This includes the ADA’s investment of $300 million dollars in diabetes research aimed at preventing and curing diabetes and helping people with diabetes live longer and healthier lives.

Each year, IBC supports events and activities designed to promote physical exercise and healthy lifestyle decisions by its members and the community. In addition to Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, the company's sponsorship includes the Blue Cross Broad Street Run in May, National Walk @ Lunch Day in April, and the Blue Cross RiverRink along the Delaware River, which reopens for the winter season in November.

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 3.1 million people. For 73 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 is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. More information about Independence Blue Cross is available at www.ibx.com.

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