Blue Cross & Blue Shield's Online Social Network Supports Member Discussions on Health and Wellness Topics

(Providence, RI, 8.10.2010)
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Members can access and share tips, information, experiences and advice at My Blue Community

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) today announced that is has launched a safe and secure online social forum, My Blue CommunitySM, for members to interact with other Blue Cross & Blue Shield members from around the nation on health and wellness-related topics such as allergies and asthma, cold and flu, diabetes, addiction, cancer and dental. Members not only get guidance from experts such as chefs, trainers and health coaches, they can interact with one another, exchange information, share experiences, and offer advice to individuals who can relate to a similar situation or challenge.

"A recent study from the Yale School of Public Health suggests that women who have had a heart attack can be susceptible to depression and other health challenges without the appropriate social support1," said Jim Gallagher, BCBSRI assistant vice president of strategic marketing and product innovation. "My Blue Community is designed to be an extension of the support one may receive from providers or family members and can have a positive effect on health outcomes."

In one recent discussion, a member, who recently lost 60 pounds and plans to lose 100 more, inquired about strategies to fight the constant need to chew. Other members offered suggestions from eating a handful of sunflower seeds to chewing gum to eating ice. Additionally, a health coach made suggestions like taking small packages of vegetables to drinking the recommended daily water intake. The member who posted the question commented favorably on the suggestions and thanked the others in support of his "food addiction."

When BCBSRI asked My Blue Community members to comment on why they like the site, one user said: "Thanks for the opportunity to share, which is the best thing about the site. I feel connected to those people that might be sharing the same thoughts. Feeling scared, frustrated or just want to share an experience – this is the place. It's a safe environment to seek advice, share a recipe or talk about health issues. I feel these peers are in it with me and that they are trustworthy."

My Blue Community currently has more than 50,000 health-related discussions already under way and about 25,000 members across the nation. The new online network can be accessed from www.BCBSRI.com.

My Blue Community is a Web site that enables discussions among individual users. This Web site is intended solely as a forum for general information and users' opinions; it does not contain any advice that is intended for medical diagnosis or treatment, and does not substitute for professional medical advice and services. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider on any medical condition and before following any information that may appear on My Blue Community.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state's leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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