ST. LOUIS, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) today announced the creation of a program called Kids' Club, aimed at educating its child members on a variety of health topics. Centene's health plans are reaching out directly to children with newsletters, contests and other innovative events, such as readings with the author of "The Adventures of Thumbs Up Johnnie(TM)."
"Centene and its health plans understand the importance of getting children involved in order to affect healthy behavior changes," said Mary Mason, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Centene. "We are reaching out directly to children with health information and encouraging our child members to become part of the club."
The Kids' Club is initially focusing on the childhood obesity epidemic--obesity rates for children doubled in the past two decades and tripled for adolescents - with educational information encouraging proper eating and exercise habits. The Company has formed a partnership with Michelle Bain, the author and creator of the "Thumbs Up Johnnie" book series. Through this partnership, Centene sponsored the creation of a book with Bain titled "Thumbs Up Johnnie & the SUPER Centeam 5- Adventures Through FITROPOLIS!" The book educates children on the importance of living an active and healthy life. Bain will introduce Thumbs Up Johnnie and the new book with events throughout the country. The first event was held at Adams Elementary School in St. Louis, with future events scheduled in states where Centene has health plans.
The Company has also formed a Kids Council that is made up of children under the age of 18 who provide feedback on the program and materials used. This feedback is used to ensure information is being effectively communicated in a way that is appealing and understandable for the child audience.
As reported by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), childhood obesity is on the rise: 31.9% of children and adolescents are overweight and 16.3% are obese.
Dr. Mason stated, "Our Kids' Club proactively addresses this issue by reaching out to our child members with fun and easy tips on how to be healthy. The Kids Council will ensure these messages are presented in a child-friendly manner."
As part of the Kids' Club, Centene and its health plans held a recipe contest asking for children to submit their favorite healthy after-school snack. The winner will be announced in December and will receive a Nintendo® Wii Fit(TM). Recipes will be featured on health plan websites to encourage children to choose the healthy option when snacking.
About Centene Corporation
Centene Corporation is a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise that provides programs and related services to individuals receiving benefits under Medicaid, including the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD), Foster Care, Long-Term Care and Medicare (Special Needs Plans). The Company operates local health plans and offers a wide range of health insurance solutions to individuals and the rising number of uninsured Americans. It also contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health, life and health management, managed vision, telehealth services, pharmacy benefits management and medication adherence. Information regarding Centene is available via the Internet at www.centene.com.
SOURCE Centene Corporation
Edmund E. Kroll, Jr.. Senior Vice President, Finance and Investor Relations, +1-212-759-0382, or Deanne Lane, Senior Director, Media Affairs, +1-314-725-4477, both of Centene Corporation