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LOCAL PROGRAM TO PREVENT HYPOTHERMIA TO BE SHOWCASED NATIONALLY

 LOCAL PROGRAM TO PREVENT HYPOTHERMIA TO BE SHOWCASED NATIONALLY
 CLEVELAND, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- A community outreach program by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Ohio (BCBSO) to alert senior citizens to the dangers of hypothermia, a potentially life-threatening drop in internal body temperature that is often preventable, is being showcased next month by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
 The "Keep the Lid On" effort last winter supplied nearly 100,000 knit caps and educational brochures to urge seniors to retain body heat by wearing a cap and maintaining proper diet.
 The program is among the 27 national winners of AARP's Partners-in- Eldercare Awards. On Nov. 5, BCBSO will be one of just seven of these national winners invited by AARP to tell others how to replicate an Eldercare Award-winning program at the five-state regional workshop for AARP's Mid-America Congress on Aging in Chicago.
 BCBSO's "Lids" program was nominated for the award by the Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc., Akron, through Joseph L. Ruby, executive director of the Area Agency, and Alice Collier, its communication director. Akron was one of four cities where elderly on limited incomes received knit caps and learned how to stay warm and protect themselves against winter illness. The program was also done in Greater Cleveland, Toledo and Youngstown at more than a dozen central city distribution sites, in an effort to target where the greatest numbers of needy elderly live and have ties to senior outreach networks.
 The spark for the "Lids" program began nearly a decade ago. The late Anna Brown, the first chair of the then, newly-formed BCBSO voluntary Senior Advisory Council, and who at the time was director of the City of Cleveland's Department of Aging, alerted BCBSO to the dangers of hypothermia and helped the company develop a program to reach out to seniors at risk.
 "Knowing that seniors, especially, are susceptible to hypothermia and can lose up to 70 percent of body heat through the scalp, we started our first hypothermia education campaign some years ago with the help of Cleveland's Department of Aging and Mrs. Brown's outreach workers," said John Burry Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of BCBSO.
 "With forecasts of an especially harsh winter during a recession, we thought all the attention on the Winter Olympics would give us the perfect reminder for seniors to be alerted to the potential health dangers from the cold and a timely way to reinforce ways to keep warm and healthy," Burry said.
 Senior leaders from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin will attend next month's AARP Area 5 conference. BCBSO is the only Ohio winner invited to participate in the educational workshops. Paula Slimak, coordinator of the BCBSO Senior Advisory Councils, will make the "Lids" presentation.
 -0- 10/22/92
 /CONTACT: Paula Slimak of William Silverman and Company, 216-696-7750, for Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Ohio/ CO: Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Ohio; American Association of
 Retired Persons ST: Ohio IN: SU:


ML-JG -- CL016 -- 3565 10/22/92 12:03 EDT
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Date:Oct 22, 1992
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