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Fight Against Cancer - Blue Cross

Author: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Published: 2011-02-03

Synopsis and Key Points:

Gold Standard accreditation by meeting criteria of workplace programs by reducing the risk of cancer for employees and their families through healthy lifestyle choices.

Main Digest

Blue Cross Leads the Fight Against Cancer - Results in national gold award.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross), the largest health plan in Minnesota, recently received accreditation as a CEO Cancer Gold Standard from the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, in collaboration with the American Cancer Society. Blue Cross earned the Gold Standard accreditation by meeting the criteria of workplace programs by reducing the risk of cancer for employees and their families through promoting healthy lifestyle choices, encouraging early detection via cancer screenings and ensuring access to quality treatment. Blue Cross is only the second Minnesota company and one of 60 companies nationwide to earn this distinction.

"The CEO Gold Standard accreditation represents the value we have placed on being a healthy workplace and leading by example in our community," said Pat Geraghty, president and CEO of Blue Cross. "As a health company, we work hard to integrate a healthy culture in all that we do for our employees and their families, our customers and for all Minnesotans."

"We know more than half of cancer deaths in Minnesota could be prevented if individuals made healthier choices," said Matt Flory, Director of healthcare Partnerships for the American Cancer Society. "Companies in this program are providing support to help people avoid cancer, or detect it early, meaning more people get to celebrate more birthdays."

Blue Cross has intentionally designed its work-site with employee health in mind. Leadership has long supported an employee-led Wellness Council that seeks new ways to improve employee health through efforts such as: providing a tobacco-free campus; living the do groove mission by supplying walking paths and allowing walking meetings; offering healthy foods in cafeterias and vending machines; supporting an onsite community giving garden, providing onsite fitness centers with reduced rate fitness classes and personal trainers; and most recently, onsite doctor visits via webcams. Also, Blue Cross employees receive incentives for maintaining good health as measured by blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI), and tobacco risk.

"In addition to creating a healthy environment for our own employees, we also invest in cancer prevention for our members," said Marc Manley, M.D., chief prevention officer of Blue Cross. "Blue Cross recently added a new weight maintenance coaching feature at no additional cost to members who use its Stop-Smoking Support program." Blue Cross members also have unique nationwide access to quality cancer care through Blue Distinction Centers, medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in treating Complex and Rare Cancers.

Blue Cross is also working to increase colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates among its members. As the second leading cause of cancer death in Minnesota, CRC screening is a proven way to prevent colorectal cancer and decrease death rates.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota -Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today as a health company: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit, taxable organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago. Go to to learn more about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

About The CEO Roundtable on Cancer -The CEO Roundtable on Cancer was founded in 2001, when former President George H. W. Bush challenged a group of executives to "do something bold and venturesome about cancer within your own corporate families." The CEOs responded by creating and encouraging the widespread adoption of the CEO Cancer Gold Standard which calls for organizations to evaluate their health benefits and workplace culture and take extensive, concrete actions in five key areas of health and wellness to fight cancer in the workplace. For more information on the CEO Cancer Gold Standard and the web-based accreditation process and support, please visit

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