Free interactive website "Take Action for Health" addresses most pressing health risks facing African Americans
January 26, 2017

Anthem, National Urban League, City of Hope and Pfizer team on unique interactive website

Duarte, Calif. – With a shared vision of working to eliminate health disparities in the African American community, Anthem, Inc., the National Urban League, City of Hope and Pfizer, Inc., announce the launch of Take Action for Health, a free interactive website aimed at reducing some of the greatest health risks facing the African American community today: breast cancer, heart disease and emotional well-being.

The launch follows the successful pilot of the website led by City of Hope with National Urban League affiliate members in Indianapolis, Kansas City and Houston. The interactive website encourages health screenings, addresses barriers and provides information on access to low and no cost healthcare services in the community. The easy to use website, guides participants through four modules where they can learn about risk factors, take action to get screened, track their progress, and share their results with their physicians, health care teams or family and friends to let them know they are taking steps to protect their health and help encourage others to participate as well.

“We’re excited to launch Take Action for Health as a valuable resource consumers can use not only to help them understand how these health risks affect them, but also help them create a roadmap to take control of their health,” said Craig Samitt, MD, chief clinical officer at Anthem, Inc. “The unique ability to share their progress with their physician, friends or family also helps start an important conversation about the steps they’re taking to live a healthier life – in doing so we hope to encourage individuals to access important health screening and reduce the barriers that can contribute to health disparities.”

Recent examples of growing health disparities continue to shed light on the need to identify ways to encourage medical screenings. In fact, 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 African-American women are diagnosed with more advanced or later stage breast cancer.

“Take Action for Health aims to put in the hands of our African American community -- clinically and culturally responsive disease preventive and health promoting tools,” said Kimlin Tam Ashing, Ph.D., a professor at City of Hope Medical Center.

The website identifies three major targets of undue poor health outcomes for African Americans. In response, 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 when the health impact is less severe and the conditions are much more treatable, and less costly in terms of person, loved ones and money.

“Inadequate access to quality health information is among the root causes of health disparities,” said Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer at Pfizer. “The Take Action for Health program is designed to address these gaps. By empowering members of underserved communities to take control of their health, we have a real opportunity to make a difference.”

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.

"Disparities in healthcare result in higher health care spending, and, tragically, significantly higher levels of illness, disability, and death among African Americans," National Urban League President and CEO Match H. Morial said. "Health disparities among African-Americans don’t just carry a human cost in higher levels of illness, disability, and death; it heaps a financial burden on already-struggling families. City of Hope, Pfizer and Anthem are invaluable partners in our goal of meaningfully improving the health and wellness of vulnerable populations."

To access Take Action for Health help visit: www.takeactionforhealth.org

About Anthem, Inc.
Anthem 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 73 million people served by its affiliated companies, including nearly 40 million within 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 www.antheminc.com/companies.

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 www.nul.org and follow on Twitter @NatUrbanLeague.

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 47 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 uson Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

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 www.pfizer.com. In addition, to learn more, follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer_News, LinkedIn, YouTube, and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Pfizer.