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Blue Cross Announces Finalists for First Stage of Prevention Minnesota Funding.

Support for community-based programs to promote physical activity

EAGAN, Minn., May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) has announced the selection of 14 projects to promote physical activity in communities around the state. The initiative -- Communities on the Move -- is part of Prevention Minnesota, Blue Cross' long-term health improvement initiative that tackles preventable heart disease and cancers by addressing their root causes.

"Providing funding to local organizations to develop or build on existing physical activity programs is an important step toward improving the health of all Minnesotans," said Marc Manley, M.D., vice president and medical director of population health at Blue Cross. "It's critical that we deal with the root causes of disease -- one of which is physical inactivity -- if we're to improve health and address rising health care costs in our state." Selected projects have emerged from a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process. Each eligible application went through a two-part expert review process.

The following organizations were selected as finalists for the first wave of Communities on the Move funding. Funding is contingent on successful contract negotiation:
 -- African American Family Services, Minneapolis;
 -- Augustana Homes, Litchfield;
 -- City of Woodbury;
 -- Cook County Community Education;
 -- Douglas County Public Health;
 -- Jewish Community Center, St. Paul;
 -- Mayo Clinic, Rochester;
 -- Midway Transportation Management Organization/University United, St.
 Paul;
 -- Migrant Health Services, Moorhead;
 -- New Americans Community Services, St. Paul;
 -- St. Paul Public Schools;
 -- Stevens, Traverse and Grant County Public Health/Morris Community
 Education, Morris;
 -- United Cambodian Association of Minnesota, St. Paul;
 -- Wheaton Community Hospital and Medical Center, Wheaton.





Community funding complements Prevention Minnesota's other core strategies, which include smoking cessation services, clinical initiatives, public awareness campaigns and outreach to high-risk groups. Prevention Minnesota's broad-based approach follows the strategic guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has cited community programs as an essential part of a comprehensive health improvement program.

The Communities on the Move RFP is open through September. Blue Cross will continue to review proposals and expects to provide funding for approximately 20-50 more projects in 2006; total funding level is estimated at $725,000 for the year. For more information, specific deadlines, or to download copies of the Communities on the Move RFP, visit http://www.preventionminnesota.com/ .

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. A not-for-profit, taxable organization, Blue Cross is the largest health plan based in Minnesota, covering 2.6 million members in Minnesota and nationally through its health plans or plans administered by its affiliated companies. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago. Go to http://www.bluecrossmn.com/ to learn more about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

CONTACT: Karl Oestreich, +1-651-662-1502, or Karen Lyons, +1-651-662-1415, both of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Web site: http://www.preventionminnesota.com/ http://www.bluecrossmn.com/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 17, 2006
Words:525
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