2012 brought three significant national honors for “doing good” to the WellPoint Foundation.  Taking a lead in corporate social responsibility goes a long way toward solving the toughest social issues faced by the U.S. today.  There are many large corporations that are stepping up to make a difference in the community but very few achieve the honor of being recognized as “the best of the best” among their corporate peers.   To rise to that level, a company must deliver a measureable difference across all areas of business resources they invest in the community – from philanthropic dollars, to employee volunteering, to subject matter expertise, to business acumen, to leadership commitment, to customer engagement – all working in concert to achieve a shared vision.

The WellPoint Foundation works to improve the health not only of its employees and policy-holders, but of Americans everywhere.  The philanthropic arm of the nation’s largest managed health care company funds not-for-profit organizations and programs dedicated to improving our health and physical fitness.  Grants from the foundation underwrite programs focused on solving health challenges in the areas of childhood obesity, prenatal care, disease states including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and immunizations.  A critical part of WellPoint’s formula for moving the needle entails choosing to invest in high performance service organizations that are committed to achieving the highest level of results.  WellPoint chooses to partner with the March of Dimes, Oasis Institute, American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and other health care related nonprofits that have demonstrated exceptional effectiveness in their services to the community.  WellPoint donated more than $47 million in grants, programs and projects focused on health-improvement. As the WellPoint Foundation’s executive director, Lance Chrisman, states, “It’s a true honor to work with so many outstanding organizations and we thank them for all they are doing to improve health and transform lives.”

The WellPoint Foundation was the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Corporate Citizenship Award from the Business Civic Leadership Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  The foundation’s volunteer work with the Boys and Girls Club of America in fighting childhood obesity and a $5 million three year grant to the Club’s Triple Play program were cited as “the best of the best” in corporate excellence and the basis of the BCLC’s “Best Partnership” award.  Stephen Jordan, the Business Civic Leadership Center founder and executive director stated the Corporate Citizenship Award honors “the exceptional ability of business to innovate, solve problems, and help people realize their potential.”

The funded discipline, Triple Play: A Game Plan for the Mind, Body and Soul, is BGCA’s successful health and wellness program that encourages members to live a healthier life style. By eating healthier (mind), becoming more active (body), and increasing their ability to engage in healthy relationships (soul), youth are becoming more physically and emotionally fit.  Over four million children and teens in 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs benefit from the Triple Play program.  Being a leader among corporate citizens also involves leading with the cause versus putting the company’s self interest first.  WellPoint joined alongside Coca Cola in investing in the Triple Play program, recognizing that by sharing their complimentary business resources, they could make a greater difference for those in need.

A Golden Stevie Award, the world’s premiere business award recognizing outstanding corporate social responsibility, was also bestowed on WellPoint Foundation in 2012.  The American Business Awards recognized WellPoint for improving health and strengthening communities through strategic, innovative solutions to health care.  WellPoint’s Healthy Generations focus areas are based on a State Health Index that WellPoint created to identify the most critical health issues in each state they serve and where the expertise and effort of the company can best deliver results.  WellPoint was selected to receive the top Stevie Award in part because the Foundation’s Healthy Generations signature program enables WellPoint to be very targeted in it’s approach to solving health issues at the individual community level.

The third jewel in WellPoint’s triple crown of recognition came from PR News’ Corporate Social Responsibility Award.  Winning the award for employee involvement further highlighted the commitment WellPoint has to walking the walk, not just talking the talk and was evidences by the more than 14,000 employee volunteer hours they donated in 2012 to address some of the nation’s most pressing health needs.

The WellPoint Foundation puts WellPoint’s corporate commitment to better the health and well-being of those it serves into action.  Health care costs can be kept down by working at the root of the problem – raising healthy children, physically fit adults, and active seniors.  As just one example, WellPoint’s focus on obesity and its related medical implications will pay large dividends to all of us in the long run. The volunteer and philanthropic actions of its employees trying to improve health and physical fitness are supported, and matched.  Sunshine Avenue joins the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, PR News and the American Business Awards in applauding the efforts of one of our nation’s most valuable and responsible corporate citizens – WellPoint – for “doing good” for their employees, their customers, the communities they serve, and the nation.

Improving the health of our communities.

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