Lance Chrisman

Lance Chrisman
Executive Director, WellPoint Foundation
WellPoint, Inc.

2011 Corporate Philanthropy

Ensuring expectant mothers have access to prenatal care and education is the single most important step to reduce preterm births and eliminate unnecessary health care costs. This core belief unites the WellPoint Foundation and the March of Dimes in their efforts to give more babies a healthy start in life.

The charitable arm of WellPoint, Inc., the WellPoint Foundation, is committed to enhancing the health and well-being of individuals and families. WellPoint has worked with the March of Dimes for decades to implement prenatal care and education programs that work to reduce unnecessary preterm births, with a particular focus on serving low-income and uninsured women.

“The complications and costs associated with pre-term births impact individual families and the American health care system,” said Dr. Sam Nussbaum, WellPoint executive vice president and chief medical officer. “Our partnership with the March of Dimes is vitally important; we continue to work with the March of Dimes to improve prenatal care, to eliminate the harm of elective premature caesarian sections, and to further the health knowledge of mothers to help ensure the birth of healthy babies.”

In 2010, the WellPoint Foundation worked with the March of Dimes to expand its group-based prenatal care program, centeringPregnancy, in six states, as well as to provide toolkits and education in two additional states. These centeringPregnancy sites served approximately 800 women, resulting in significant reductions in preterm births among those mothers.

In May 2011, the WellPoint Foundation announced a $1 million grant to the March of Dimes to support a total of 29 centeringPregnancy program sites in 13 states—up from 11 WellPoint Foundation-supported sites in 2010, nearly tripling the Foundation’s financial support for the program overall. The grant will also provide a preterm birth toolkit to hospitals in california and support the broadcasters for babies awareness campaign in Missouri.

WellPoint, Inc.
Corporate Headquarters: Indianapolis, Indiana
Primary Business: Health Benefits
Employees: 37,000