ABOVE PHOTO: In these photos are the participants of last year’s Healthy Hoops event held at Universal Bluford Elementary School. (Photo courtesy: AmeriHealth Caritas)
AmeriHealth Caritas, a national leader in health care solutions for people in need, and its Southeastern Pennsylvania health plan Keystone First, celebrates the 15th Anniversary of Healthy Hoops® at Universal Audenreid Charter School. Healthy Hoops is a community-based, chronic disease intervention program that combines hands-on asthma education and health screenings with basketball clinics led by experienced coaches.
Healthy Hoops was launched in 2002 to address increased asthma diagnoses among children and a spike in asthma-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations in the Philadelphia area. Fifteen years later, AmeriHealth Caritas has hosted Healthy Hoops programs in a number of its markets, including Kentucky, South Carolina, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, Louisiana and Pennsylvania.
“The keys to a successful asthma control strategy are education and repetition,” said Dr. Lily Higgins, market chief medical officer for Keystone First. “Asthma is a chronic disease which can be controlled when members learn to avoid triggers, take daily controller medication, recognize asthma symptoms and respond appropriately.”
In addition to the health screenings and basketball clinic, activities at the 15th anniversary celebration included children’s yoga, story time and a health education workshop, along with a performance by health educator and motivational rap artist Sterlen Barr. A special reception recognized individuals instrumental in founding Healthy Hoops, including Daniel J. Hilferty, Sonny Hill, Speedy Morris, Jim Murray, Maureen George and the late Jim “Bo” Boyle.
“For 15 years, Healthy Hoops has exemplified our mission of helping people get the care they need, stay well and build healthy communities,” said AmeriHealth Caritas Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paul A. Tufano. “We are proud to have helped thousands of families understand that asthma does not have to hold them back from enjoying active, fun-filled lives.”
“It has been incredibly rewarding to see Healthy Hoops grow from a local initiative to one that benefits families across the country,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, President and Chief Executive Officer of Independence Blue Cross. “It is a huge win when you can connect families to the resources and support they need to manage chronic health problems like asthma or obesity, and make it fun for the children at the same time.”
About AmeriHealth Caritas
AmeriHealth Caritas is part of the Independence Health Group in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. AmeriHealth Caritas is one of the nation’s leaders in health care solutions for those most in need. Operating in 17 states and the District of Columbia, AmeriHealth Caritas serves more than 5.7 million Medicaid, Medicare and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) members through its integrated managed care products, pharmaceutical benefit management and specialty pharmacy services, behavioral health services, and other administrative services. Headquartered in Philadelphia, AmeriHealth Caritas is a mission-driven organization with more than 30 years of experience serving low-income and chronically ill populations. For more information, visit www.amerihealthcaritas.com.
About Keystone First
Keystone First is a Medical Assistance (Medicaid) managed care health product offered by Vista Health Plan, Inc., an affiliate of Independence Blue Cross, in five southeastern Pennsylvania counties. Here at Keystone First, we are mission-driven and dedicated to helping members get care, stay well and build healthy communities. For more information, visit www.keystonefirstpa.com.
Independence Blue Cross and Vista Health Plan, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.