Community Health Initiatives
For more than a decade, Anthem has committed resources and worked with key entities (such as nonprofit organizations, universities, professional societies, and government agencies) to create initiatives that address public health concerns, close gaps, and improve people’s everyday living conditions.
Our country is facing a silent epidemic. Depression and suicide are hiding in plain sight – affecting more and more young people. According to the National Institute for Mental Health (2018), suicide is the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 24. Further, Pew Research Center’s February 2019 study found that 70% of young people see anxiety and depression as a major problem among their peers.
Still, despite these startling trends, many young people do not seek or receive the mental health treatment they need and deserve to treat their depression, increasing the chance that their depression might escalate into suicidal ideation.
Shine Light on Depression
Anthem is tackling the issue of teen depression and suicide in youth nationwide through the dissemination of the Shine Light on Depression e‑toolkit (website). This online toolkit connects school communities with free, ready-to-use resources and tools designed to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention among middle and high school youth and families in a positive, honest, fact-based, and culturally inclusive manner. This approach helps build a community in which there is open discussion and appropriate vocabulary about the subject of depression and places it in the broader context of good mental health.
This e-toolkit was created by American School Health Association, Anthem, Inc., Erika’s Lighthouse, JetBlue Airways Corporation, and the National PTA.
Substance Use Disorder
Opioid abuse is now claiming more than four lives every hour in the U.S.1, This represents a dramatic increase in deaths related to opioids in just a few years, and much of the increase in deaths is attributable to heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Opioid-related emergency department (ED) visits have skyrocketed too, with treat-and-release ED visits growing 144 percent in less than a decade. Opioid related deaths impact all age groups, but heroin and synthetic opioids are hitting young adults particularly hard.
What’s Up With Opioids?
Anthem is addressing the national epidemic by supporting prevention with What’s Up With Opioids? – a free online toolkit designed for nonprofits, workplaces, schools, faith-based groups, parents and social clubs – to help keep local communities safe and educated about the dangers of opioid misuse and addiction.
This online toolkit was created by Anthem, Inc., and the National Urban League, with a grant from the Anthem Foundation. The free kit has ready-to-use tools and a step-by-step guide for hosting community discussions to help prevent opioid misuse and addiction.
To help improve the health and wellbeing of all people affected by cancer, Anthem has worked with others to create a suite of free tools available to everyone, including patients, survivors, providers, caregivers, employers, and coworkers.
Developed by Anthem, Inc., the Cancer Support Community, and Genentech, this free interactive web tool helps people diagnosed with cancer figure out what information and questions they should share with their doctor to find the treatment that is right for them. Through a creative whiteboard animation-led process, Let’s Talk Treatment Options helps people articulate what they know and what they need to know to make a shared treatment decision with their doctor and move forward with their healthcare team.
Self-Care During Cancer Treatment
This mobile app developed by Anthem, Inc., the Cancer Support Community, and Genentech, helps individuals undergoing cancer treatment self-manage the physical and psychosocial symptoms that often arise during treatment. The Self-Care app encourages app users to do a quick weekly check-in and review the strategies for dealing with the issues they’re facing. The mobile app also helps individuals keep track of how they’re doing and prompts them to share information with their doctor. It is available for free in the Apple App Store and GooglePlay.
Caring for a person with cancer is stressful. Oftentimes, caregivers overlook their own needs. That’s why this interactive web tool was created – to give the information and resources family caregivers need to care for their health. Created by Anthem, Inc., the Caregiver Action Network, CancerCare, Indiana University, and Michigan State University, Help for Cancer Caregivers provides guidelines for creating a Personal Care Plan to address issues like depression and anxiety, coping with emotions, and even managing money concerns
Workplace Transitions for People Touched by Cancer is a free, easy-to-use electronic toolkit created by Anthem, Inc., the U.S. Business Leadership Network, Cancer and Careers, and Pfizer Inc. to help managers deal with cancer in the workplace and support employees’ wellbeing. This digital resource helps companies of all size, giving managers guidance on managing the return-to-work from a practical, psychosocial, and legal perspective. And it works with policies and procedures already in place. The e-toolkit also provides employees with a diagnosis and those caregiving for a loved one with cancer the information and resources they need to balance work and cancer.
Vaccines are one of the greatest public health achievements and economical health interventions of the 20th century. Nearly 20 million cases of infectious diseases and 42,000 deaths are prevented every year in the United States through timely vaccination.
For every $1 spent on each of the 11 vaccines given routinely to children, our country saves $10.10 in medical costs by averting costs to treat diseases. Unfortunately, while vaccinations are recommended throughout life to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases and their aftereffects, coverage rates in adults remain low for most routinely recommended vaccines and below Healthy People 2020 targets. 2, 3, 4 5
The Let’s Vaccinate electronic toolkit delivers free turnkey solutions for providers and provider networks to increase vaccination rates for children and adults, including pregnant women, and offers tools to address vaccination disparities. The site also serves as a vehicle for connecting providers to their state immunization programs and local immunization coalitions. Let’s Vaccinate is an initiative created by Anthem, Inc., Vaccinate Your Family: The Next Generation of Every Child by Two, and Pfizer Inc.
Multicultural Health Programs
As the composition of the U.S. population becomes increasingly multicultural, it is critical that we address the populations that are more often affected by serious and chronic medical conditions. Anthem is committed to eliminating health disparities through evidence-based research, robust analytics and program design, innovative strategies, and caring solutions.
My Diverse Patients
Anthem has developed and launched a free resource-rich website for providers serving diverse patient populations to help increase awareness of disparities in health care and outcomes, as well as tools and resources to aid in mitigating those variances. Designed with the busy provider in mind, this website offers quick tools and resources that are accessible from any smartphone, tablet or desktop. Providers will find courses that offer Continuing Medical Education credits and cover a wide range of topics such as “Reducing Health Care Stereotype Threat” and “The Medication Adherence Iceberg: How to Navigate What You Can’t See”. In addition, the site offers articles, videos, and research relevant to the health of diverse patients.
Compartiendo el Café y Chocolate
Compartiendo el Café y Chocolate is a public service workshop program that addresses the emotional wellbeing of the Latino community. This ready-to-use workshop series builds on Latino cultural strengths and focuses on four key components needed for health and wellbeing: community, body, mind and spirit. The four workshops come with an easy-to-use leader guide, encouraging individuals to conduct small group sessions in their communities.
Created by Día de la Mujer Latina, Inc., the program (available in English and Spanish) is supported by Anthem, Inc. and Pfizer Inc.
Take Action for Health
Heart disease, emotional wellbeing, prediabetes, and cancer are serious health problems for all Americans, especially African Americans. This community health initiative features a free, publicly available interactive web tool developed by 100 Black Men of America, Anthem, Inc., City of Hope, the National Urban League, and Pfizer Inc. that helps explain why African Americans are at increased risk for heart disease, depression, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and cancer and how to protect their health and wellbeing through screenings. The tool also identifies potential barriers people may encounter—such as transportation, cost, and time—and provides real-life tips and resources to help overcome these challenges.
Ubuntu Program for Emotional Wellness
Developed for African American community groups, this program uses an integrative, holistic approach to managing stress, an underlying cause of many illnesses and social problems. The program’s unique curriculum is broken into four workshops that can be held separately or together: Community, Body, Mind and Spirit. It connects participants by encouraging them to share their experiences and learn together how to cope with stress.
The Ubuntu Program for Emotional Wellness was created by Marva L. Lewis, PhD, and Candice C. Beasley, DSW, of Tulane University and is brought to you by Take Action for Health, a collaboration among Anthem, Inc., City of Hope, the National Urban League and Pfizer, Inc.
1 NIHCM, The Opioid Crisis at a Glance, (January 2018).
2 Aparna Ramakrishnan, CDC Adult Immunization Communication: Update on Research, Activities, and Resources, (May 2015).
4 Susan Farrall, Laura Lee Hall, Debra Hawkes and Litjen Tan, NAIIS Provider Workgroup Report for 2014-2015, (May 2015).
5 Centers for Disease Control, Vaccination Coverage Among Adults, Excluding Influenza Vaccination – United States, 2013, (February 6, 2015 / 64(04); 95-102).