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BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OFFER FREE LAMAZE CLASSES

 PITTSBURGH, Dec. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Studies indicate that expectant mothers who participate in childbirth education during their pregnancies significantly increase their chances of having safe deliveries and healthy babies.
 To help parents take advantage of this important educational component, Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania (BCWP) and Pennsylvania Blue Shield are offering Lamaze and Infant Preparation classes at no cost to their subscribers as part of a pilot program to help expectant parents prepare for the labor and delivery experience.
 The program addresses subjects such as Lamaze breathing and relaxation techniques and proper nutrition. The classes also offer valuable instruction on parenting such as newborn care, feeding, safety tips and more. Classes are taught by nationally certified childbirth educators, who are registered nurses experienced in specialized maternity care. The pilot program is part of Blue Cross and Blue Shield's health care management services aimed at managing costs and delivering quality care.
 "Our approach to managed care is unique," said Dr. Kenneth R. Melani, president of Health Related Services, Inc., the BCWP subsidiary that directs Blue Cross and Blue Shield's health care management programs. "We believe the cornerstone of managed care is coordinating the way health care is delivered -- a process we refer to as health care management. We incorporate health care management throughout our entire line of products and services. Our pre-natal health education program is just one example of how we manage care," Melani said.
 The pilot program is expected to begin in January and will be scheduled based upon response. The two-hour class will meet once a week for eight consecutive weeks.
 Classes will be held at regional "Medicenters" in Harmar and Robinson townships. The Harmar Medicenter is a joint venture between BCWP and St. Margaret Memorial Hospital. The Robinson Township Medicenter is a cooperative effort between BCWP and Ohio Valley General Hospital. Both Medicenters offer primary and specialty medical care, community education programs and on-site Blue Cross customer service assistance. In addition, the Lamaze program will be held at the HealthPLACE located at Fifth Avenue Place in downtown Pittsburgh.
 Enrollment in the pilot program is limited. Blue Cross and Blue Shield subscribers are encouraged to register immediately. Participant reaction to the pilot program will determine if it will be offered on an ongoing basis. When calling, a subscriber should be prepared to give the Blue Cross agreement number, date the baby is expected to be born, delivering hospital and physician's name. For more information or to register, call toll-free 800-452-8520.
 -0- 12/29/92
 /CONTACT: Shari Rose of Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania, 412-255-7870/


CO: Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Blue Shield;
 St. Margaret Memorial Hospital; Ohio Valley General Hospital ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA INS SU: PDT


DM-DD -- PG002 -- 0295 12/29/92 10:52 EST
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Date:Dec 29, 1992
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