Best Partnership Finalists: WellPoint with Boys & Girls Clubs of America
WellPoint’s healthcare expertise, industry insights, employee talent, public policy advocacy, and charitable contributions are all being leveraged to change the course of an important health issue in the United States. The linkages are strong between the value of the company and the health and wellness of its customers. To be a healthy company, WellPoint is making it a point to support healthy individuals. What better partner than Boys & Girls Clubs of America to arm youth today with the tools and knowledge they need to make healthy decisions for a lifetime.
One-third of American children are considered overweight or obese – triple the rate from one generation ago. Overweight adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults; untreated, childhood obesity can lead to serious health consequences, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, asthma, depression, and other life-threatening illnesses. Obese patients spend an average of 42% more for medical care than those within a normal weight range. Additionally, obesity costs the U.S. healthcare industry approximately $147 billion annually.
Triple Play was launched with support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and aligns with its Steps to a Healthier U.S. initiative.
Triple Play is the largest wellness endeavor undertaken by Boys & Girls Clubs.
WellPoint Inc., one of the nation’s largest health plan providers, formed a partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to expand the nonprofit organization’s “Triple Play” program, a wellness initiative to show youth how eating right, keeping fit, and forming positive relationships add up to healthy lifestyles. WellPoint supports Triple Play through a $5 million multi-year grant, employee volunteerism, and leadership and healthcare expertise that benefits the program’s development.
The goal of the Triple Play program is to improve young people’s knowledge of healthy habits, increase the number of hours per day they participate in physical activities, and strengthen their ability to engage in positive relationships.
The Triple Play program has identified numerous best practices that are producing the greatest results, which it shares across other Boys & Girls Clubs locations. Best practices include:
- Educating children and families about healthy food choices and portion control
- Introducing nutritious daily snacks and water in place of sugary treats and drinks
- Distributing healthy recipes on a weekly basis
- Teaching members how to read ingredients on nutrition labels
- Replacing the kinds of food and drink choices in onsite vending machines
- Partnering with local food banks to provide healthy food for Boys & Girls Clubs members
- Introducing a new fruits, vegetables and sports to children each week
- Initiating a daily “Power Hour” that utilizes high-yield physical activities
What the Partnership Has Accomplished
To date, Triple Play has helped more than 1 million kids learn the importance of physical activity and proper nutrition. Promising Practices Network (PPN) validated and named Triple Play a “Program that Works.” PPN offers research-based information to validate the effectiveness of programs that improve the lives of children, families, and communities and is referred to as a “best practices” resource. PPN-listed programs have met high standards of scientific credibility, objectivity, and clarity. The network is led by the RAND Corporation, one of the world’s premiere research organizations.
Why It Makes Sense
Individually, WellPoint and Boys & Girls Clubs have strong national networks. WellPoint serves 34 million people through its health plans and another 65 million people through its subsidiaries. It has 37,000 employees in U.S. communities. Boys & Girls Clubs extend across the United States and have established relationships with key stakeholders such as parents, health providers, schools, governments, and other nonprofits. Together, these partners are capable of creating a movement that reaches into households and makes a lasting impact against the obesity epidemic.