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Press Release

Independence Blue Cross Steps Up Efforts to Stop Diabetes in the Region

Philadelphia Step Out event ranks #1 in the nation

Philadelphia, PA - December 28, 2011 - Independence Blue Cross (IBC) marked another enormously successful Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes event on Saturday, October 1, when more than 3,200 walkers gathered at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the annual Philadelphia walk and raised more than $577,590 for the American Diabetes Association (ADA).  IBC has been the presenting sponsor of the 5K for four years, helping the ADA walk raise more money than any of the 132 other Step Out events in the nation.

"Diabetes is a serious, sometimes deadly, but often preventable disease that affects many of our own family, friends, members, and IBC colleagues," said Daniel J. Hilferty, IBC president and CEO. "As a company, our mission is to enhance the health and wellness of the people and the communities we serve, and we are very proud to partner with the American Diabetes Association for this extraordinarily successful walk. I am also proud of the tremendous participation and fundraising effort by our own IBC associates."

Team IBC joined 340 corporate, community, and family teams at Step Out, one of IBC's three key signature events of the year.  Team IBC also broke its previous participation records by exceeding the company's goals of 400 walkers and $40,000 raised.  IBC associate results in 2011 were the best to date with more than $50,000 raised, including a generous $10,000 company match, and participation by 37 individual walk teams.

"We know that nationally in 2010 there were 1.9 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed in people over the age of 20, and in 2011 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named Pennsylvania one of 15 states that are part of a 'diabetes belt' where the rate of diabetes is 11 percent - almost a third higher than the national rate of eight percent," said Christopher Cashman, IBC executive vice president and president of commercial markets. "One in nine people in Philadelphia and more than 130,000 of our members are living with the disease."

The October walk featured appearances by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, tennis legend Billie Jean King, NBC 10 television personality Lori Wilson, Pennsylvania Senator Anthony Williams, and IBX Healthy Steps spokesperson and Step Out team captain, Kimberly Garrison. Since 2008, IBC has contributed nearly $400,000 through sponsorship and corporate fundraising efforts to help the ADA provide community education programs and fund critical research projects.

Diabetes is the fastest growing disease in the country with nearly 26 million Americans diagnosed. However there is good news: According to the ADA, people with prediabetes or those who are at risk for the disease may be able to prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes through modest weight loss, regular exercise, and good nutrition. IBC aids in the effort to curb the diabetes epidemic by focusing on getting members the right care at the right time, including offering prevention and wellness programs such as:

  • Healthy LifestylesSM, which provides members with referral-free nutritional counseling and diabetic education benefits, including reimbursement for participation in fitness and weight-loss programs;
  • IBX Healthy Steps Pedometer App for iPhone and Android phones, which provides a free resource for tracking the distance, length, and speed of workouts in order to help users reach health goals;
  • IBX Healthy Steps Social Media Campaign, which connects users with other health-minded fans and provides information on the health issues that matter most.

In addition to Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, the company sponsors the Blue Cross RiverRink, which reopened for the winter season on November 25, National Walk @ Lunch Day on April 25, 2012, and the Blue Cross Broad Street Run on May 6, 2012.

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. Visit us at ibx.com. Fan us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter@ibx.

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