October 27, 2014
Tom Canty, Vice President and General Manager, Empire BlueCross BlueShield Government, Labor and Special Accounts
New York continues to show improvement on a number of health measures – from AIDS to childhood obesity to life expectancy. The intense commitment of New Yorkers to personal fitness and a focus on healthy behaviors and lifestyle choices has had a positive impact (e.g., New Yorkersspend more money than all but two other cities on gym memberships). Legislators continue to drill down on controlling prescription drug abuses and stopping the spread of contagious diseases.
And hospitals, physicians and insurers are working in partnership to create medical homes, Accountable Care Organizations and telehealth programs aimed at improving health outcomes.
But let’s never lose sight of the fact that the unsung heroes in this battle for a healthier New York, are the community-rooted, “in the trenches, nooks and crannies,” nonprofits – many of which are doing amazing work and have results to show for it.
Empire is one of many New York-headquartered health care businesses that believe that partnerships and financial support to these organizations, is key to achieving our business goals. Here are just a few of the organizations we support that are driving better health for all of us.
· New York Parks & Recreation’s “Shape Up NYC,” offers 275 free exercise classes a week – in places that New Yorkers in all the five boroughs are familiar with, and feel welcome in – the city’s parks, libraries, schools and rec centers. Among others, results show that 65% of participants reported losing weight, 83% said they had more energy and 33% said they were eating better.
· The Alliance for Lupus Research’s (ALR) commits millions of dollars to significant lupus research every year in the quest to end the suffering caused by Lupus. ALR’s Board of Directors pays all administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of every donation goes to fund research.
· And, the Asian American Foundation recently produced the very first national report on the “State of Asian American Children,” which included measures of health status and healthcare access, and action steps to improve health.
Health care leaders in the Big Apple know that while Manhattan may be an island, we are not. Investment and support that augments the valuable work of our nonprofit partners– in all of the five -boroughs and the across the state – is both an investment in improving our services to members and the health of New Yorkers.