TAKING ACTION: Anthem Foundation Awards $55,000 Grant to Grow LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA Program

LEXINGTON, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The YMCA of Central Kentucky has received a $55,000 grant from the
Anthem Foundation that will grow the LIVESTRONG® at
the YMCA program. Cancer is the leading cause of death in Kentucky. The
disease can tear families apart and forever change the lives of those
affected. One of the most effective ways to combat and prevent cancer is
by encouraging healthy living and physical activity.

LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA is an evidence-based program
that helps adult cancer survivors reclaim their health and well-being
following a cancer diagnosis. Participants in the program receive a free
three-month YMCA family membership and attend a 12-week program in a
compassionate, small group setting.

In 2007, the LIVESTRONG Foundation and YMCA of the USA joined
to create LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA, a free wellness
program to support people affected by cancer. The YMCA of Central
Kentucky was selected in 2010 as a new member of the Southeast Cohort of
LIVESTRONG® associations. A pilot program was launched
in 2011 with 8 participants, and since then, the need for cancer support
services has increased considerably. Today, the LIVESTRONG® program
provides services at all 3 Y branches and currently offers 12 classes
throughout the year where 430 survivors to date have been served by the
program.

“Since 2011, I’ve personally been involved with the YMCA of Central
Kentucky and have seen what their program means to Lexington and the
surrounding areas,” said Anthem’s Regional Vice President Kennan
Wethington. “The Anthem Foundation is excited that we are continuing our
support of the Y’s efforts to expand LIVESTRONG® at
the YMCA to serve more cancer survivors by helping them gain back their
strength, stamina and resilience from this devastating disease.”

The grant will help cancer survivors improve their strength and physical
fitness, diminish the severity of therapy side effects, develop
supportive relationships and improve their quality of life.

“The Anthem Foundation has helped fund the LIVESTRONG®
at the YMCA program since its inception, and this latest grant will
allow the Y to train more coaches and expand the number of classes,
reducing the waiting list for community members wanting to participate
in the program,” said YMCA of Central Kentucky President and Chief
Executive Officer David Martorano.

The opening of the Hamburg Place YMCA this fall will help the program
serve additional survivors. Program participants will work with
certified LIVESTRONG® coaches in activities such as:

  • Baseline fitness evaluation
  • Individualized training
  • Exercise development including cardiovascular conditioning, strength
    training, balance and flexibility
  • Social engagement activities, and
  • Educational seminars and guest speakers

Studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of the program, finding that
patients who exercise regularly after cancer treatment had in some cases
as much as a 39 percent decrease in cancer mortality. This generous
grant will help the Y continue to support individuals and families who
are trying to move beyond cancer in spirit, mind and body.

For more information on the program, go to ymcacky.org/programs/livestrong-at-the-ymca/
or call your nearest YMCA of Central Kentucky location.

About the YMCA of Central Kentucky

The YMCA of Central Kentucky has been serving Lexington and the
surrounding area since 1853. The YMCA is for youth development, healthy
living and social responsibility and provides programs that support the
healthy development of people of all ages. Through the generous
contributions of our donors, the YMCA of Central Kentucky provides
financial assistance that enables all members of the community to enjoy
YMCA programs, regardless of income. The YMCA of Central Kentucky
operates three full facilities in Lexington, as well as program offices
in Jessamine County and Scott County.

About Anthem Foundation

The Anthem Foundation, Inc. is a private, non-profit foundation. Through
charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes Anthem
Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s inherent commitment to enhance the health
and well-being of individuals and families in communities in Kentucky.
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 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 and its parent foundation provides a
50 percent match of associates’ pledges. ®ANTHEM is a registered
trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue
Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue
Shield Association.

Contacts

YMCA of Central Kentucky
Dan Koett (ket)
(859) 797-3646
dkoett@ymcacky.org