BCBS Partners with OSU on Health Program

HEALTHY FUTURES: Dr. Kayse Shrum, OSU Center for Health Sciences provost, Bert Marshall, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Howard Barnett, president of OSU-Tulsa and OSU-CHS, and John Dodd, CAP director of education leadership honor BCBS of Oklahoma’s contribution to OSU-CHS for the Healthy Women, Healthy Futures program at a reception on Feb. 7.

Courtesy OSU-Tulsa

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma announced a $300,000 contribution to Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences to provide health education and physician services for Healthy Women, Healthy Futures, a program to assist at-risk women living in poverty with children enrolled at one of three Community Action Project early childhood centers.

“One of our top missions at the – College of Osteopathic Medicine is to provide health care for underserved populations,” says Howard Barnett, president of -Tulsa and -. “Healthy Women, Healthy Futures allows us to reach out and provide medical services to an underserved population in Tulsa with educational programs that aim to improve physical, emotional, social, dental and vision health.”

Healthy Women, Healthy Futures seeks to improve the health of at-risk women before they become pregnant again, minimizing the risk of premature birth or infant death. In addition to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma and Center for Health Sciences, the program is a community partnership between , the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing, Tulsa Health Department, Community Health Connection, Eye Care for Tulsa and Ocean Dental. Classes address the benefits of exercise, cardiovascular wellness, diabetes prevention, nutrition, healthy shopping and cooking and pregnancy plan development.

“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma’s contribution to Healthy Women, Healthy Futures is an extension of the company’s initiative that focuses on engaging children and their families in understanding the importance of healthy lifestyles and preventing and managing disease,” says Bert Marshall, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. “Our goal is to help families, especially women, think about health as a priority and how it can impact their way of life and their children.”

Healthy Women, Healthy Futures focuses on women who have previously delivered a child and are likely to become pregnant again but are not currently insured. Since the Tulsa program was originally launched in 2008 with funding from the George Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 100 participants have been served.

In response to the contribution from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, the George Kaiser Family Foundation has pledged a matching gift of $300,000, providing a total of $600,000 for the program. Funds from the grants will be used to support the costs of nutritional classes, medical services, health navigators and nurse educators for the program. The program is operated by the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing.

Overall 63 percent of participants reported improved lifestyles through Healthy Women, Healthy Futures. These changes include eating healthier, getting more exercise, stress reduction, getting a job, going to school or work, improved self-esteem and getting a driver’s license.

For more information about the Healthy Women, Healthy Futures program, visit www.captc.org/iLab/HWHF.php.

Updated 02-27-2012

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