Anthem, National Urban League, City of Hope, Pfizer create Take Action for Health to address health issues facing African-Americans

August 3, 2016

City of Hope
[email protected]

Indianapolis, Kansas City and Houston to serve as pilot sites to evaluate health promotion interventions  

DUARTE, Calif. — A recent study by the National Urban League Policy Institute found that health disparities cost the U.S. economy $82.2 billion in 2009, $60 billion in health care spending and $22.2 billion in lost productivity. Left alone, costs associated with chronic health conditions facing certain ethnic groups are expected to soar to $363 billion in 2050 as the U.S. population grows increasingly diverse.

With a common goal of eliminating health disparities in the African-American community, Anthem Inc., the National Urban League, City of Hope and Pfizer Inc. have teamed up to create Take Action for Health, a unique initiative focused on reducing some of the greatest health risks facing the African-American community today: breast cancer, heart disease and emotional well-being.

Take Action for Health strives to increase mammograms, blood pressure screenings, and screenings for depression and anxiety-risk in an effort to catch these health conditions early while they are more treatable. For example, African-American women have the lowest breast cancer survival rate of all ethnic and racial groups, according to the American Cancer Society, and one potential reason may be because they are diagnosed with more advanced or later stage breast cancer.

National Urban League affiliates in Indianapolis, Kansas City and Houston will serve as the pilot sites for 300 participants to attend onsite Urban League wellness programs and test a newly created interactive website that will encourage key health screenings, address barriers, provide information on low and no cost services, empower participants to track their screenings, and make it easy to share information with their health care teams, family and friends. Participants in the Take Action for Health pilot study will take two online surveys – one now and a second one in September – that will measure self-reported screening behaviors, satisfaction with the website and level of empowerment regarding their health care.

“This pilot is a critically important extension of the National Urban League’s programming, advocacy and innovation around eliminating health disparities and addressing the social determinants of health in the communities we serve,” said Hal Smith, senior vice president of Education and Health at The National Urban League. “Partners such as City of Hope, Pfizer and Anthem match our commitment to these goals and to meaningfully improve the health and wellness of vulnerable populations and advancing impactful community health as we develop and refine leading-edge approaches, supports and content.”

“Addressing health disparities begins with understanding they are steeped in complex issues that bridge cultural stigmas, socioeconomic challenges and a variety of risk factors,” said Craig Samitt, M.D., executive vice president and chief clinical officer at Anthem. “Today for example, we are witnessing the alarming impact breast cancer is having on African-American women; Take Action for Health will not only help us better understand why our communities are at risk, but also empower individuals and their families to overcome obstacles to take control of their health.”

Results from the pilot study will be made publicly available in early 2017 along with the Take Action for Health website.

About City of Hope
City of Hope is an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as one of only 45 comprehensive cancer centers, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the world. City of Hope is located in Duarte, California, just northeast of Los Angeles, with community clinics throughout Southern California. It is ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation, diabetes and numerous breakthrough cancer drugs based on technology developed at the institution. For more information about City of Hope, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

About Anthem Inc.
Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) is working to transform health care with trusted and caring solutions. Our health plan companies deliver quality products and services that give their members access to the care they need. With over 72 million people served by its affiliated companies, including more than 39 million enrolled in its family of health plans, Anthem is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies. For more information about Anthem’s family of companies, please visit

About National Urban League
The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy. Today, the National Urban League has 88 affiliates serving 300 communities, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people nationwide. Visit and follow on Twitter @NatUrbanLeague.

About Pfizer Inc.: Working together for a healthier world®
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of healthcare products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world's best-known consumer healthcare products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. For more information, please visit us at In addition, to learn more, follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer_News, LinkedIn, YouTube, and like us on Facebook at

Anthem, Inc.
Leslie Porras
[email protected]
(202) 508-7981

National Urban League
Teresa Candori
[email protected]

Neha Wadhwa
[email protected]
(212) 733-2835

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