Grant will support programming in Kentucky, Texas and Wisconsin

Washington, DC – The Arc is pleased to announce it has received nearly $88,000 of funding from the Anthem Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc., to support the Health and Fitness for All project. The project’s training curriculum was developed by the University of Illinois at Chicago, and provides overall structured information on how to organize and start a tailored physical activity and health education program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The award will be used to conduct this health project at nine chapters certified in the HealthMatters curriculum at The Arc in Kentucky, Texas, and Wisconsin.

In 2016, The Arc received comparable funding for this initiative from the Anthem Foundation. The program resulted in roughly half of participants reporting a healthy blood pressure, along with 71% of participants revealing increased knowledge of healthy foods and healthy behaviors. Drawing on a very successful first year, the nine chapters will implement the 12-week program with a drive to increase results to approximately 225 participants at the following locations: The Arc of Kentucky, The Arc of Central Kentucky, The Arc of Barren County (KY), The Pointe Arc in Northern Kentucky, The Arc of San Antonio (TX), The Arc of Wisconsin, The Arc Greater Columbia County (WI), The Arc of Racine County, Inc. (WI) and The Arc Fond du Lac (WI).

“Leading a healthy lifestyle is difficult for everyone, including people with I/DD. The Arc is fortunate to have the generous support of the Anthem Foundation so we can continue to provide education and resources that will help people with I/DD make healthier decisions in their daily lives,” said Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc. According to the Centers for Disease Control, adults with disabilities have a 58% higher rate of obesity than adults without disabilities due to certain challenges individuals face with I/DD related to eating healthy, maintaining weight and being physically active. Nonetheless, since 2012, The Arc has continued to reach over 700 participants with the use of the HealthMatters curriculum and provided those with I/DD the tools and resources needed to lead healthier lives.

“We’re pleased to team with The Arc to continue to support their efforts to ensure all individuals, regardless of their abilities, have access to information that encourages a healthier lifestyle,” said Craig Samitt, MD, chief clinical officer at Anthem, Inc. “The results of their program are further evidence of the value they bring to the communities they serve to help create a healthier generations of Americans.”

The Arc advocates for and serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of more than 665 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.

About Anthem Foundation

The Anthem Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the inherent commitment of Anthem, Inc. to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These disease states and medical conditions include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Associate Giving program which provides a 50 percent match of associates’ pledges, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Anthem Foundation, please visit http://www.anthem.foundation and its blog at http://anthemfoundation.tumblr.com.

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