CIGNA Foundation Grant to Help Parents Manage Children's Leukemia Treatments
Childhood Leukemia Foundation's Hope Binder™ Offered at 160 Hospitals Nationwide
Philadelphia — April 16, 2008 — CIGNA is teaming up with the Childhood Leukemia Foundation (CLF) to offer CLF's Hope Binder™ free of charge to parents of children with cancer at 160 hospitals nationwide.
The CLF Hope Binder is a tool designed to help parents manage the overwhelming amount of information related to their child's care including worksheets and resources to help document treatment protocols, medicines, doctor's appointments, blood counts, physicians, hospitals, nutrition concerns, and insurance benefits — all the details that come with facing leukemia. It also includes free telephone calling cards and informational booklets.
The CIGNA Foundation's $75,000 grant to CLF makes it possible for the group to supply 2,200 Hope Binders to more than 160 hospitals nationwide, up from just over 300 Hope Binders distributed in 2007. CIGNA has added a free copy of the video game Re-MissionTM in every Hope Binder. Re-Mission is a tool to help young people better manage their health while undergoing cancer treatment. Research has shown that the game, which was created by the nonprofit organization HopeLab, helps teens and young adults stick to their treatment regimens.
"After hearing the devastating news that their child has cancer, families cling to any information they can put their hands on and find it helpful to have a way to organize all of the clinical notes, lab reports, brochures, medication sheets, and phone numbers they receive," said Michelle Hoffman, MSW, LSW, a pediatric outpatient clinic social worker at Lutheran Children's Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind. "We have given numerous Hope Binders to families, and parents say how much it meant to them knowing there were free resources available early on in their child's care. Sometimes we see them sitting in their child's room diligently filling out the binder as if it is the first day of class and this is their homework."
"When the initial diagnosis of cancer is made, parents and caregivers are not equipped to handle and process the flood of information related to their child's care," said Childhood Leukemia Foundation's Executive Director Barbara Reid. "The Hope Binder documents a child's treatment by logging information to help families easily organize information and take it with them whenever it's needed."
"We're pleased to help CLF get many more Hope Binders into the hands of parents to help them in their child's battle with a life-threatening medical condition," said CIGNA national medical director, Dr. Dick Salmon. "We're also glad to be able to add free copies of Re-Mission to Hope Binders. Now, along with giving parents a way to organize information, Hope Binders also offer kids a fun way to learn about, and get a sense of control over cancer."
"We deeply appreciate CIGNA's 'walk the talk' approach to helping individuals, families and communities enhance their health and well-being," Reid said.
HopeLab's Re-Mission video game is also available free to any child suffering from cancer and their families at www.CIGNA.com/re-mission. For more information about HopeLab and Re-Mission, visit www.hopelab.org.
About Childhood Leukemia Foundation
The Childhood Leukemia Foundation is a national non-profit organization that offers a wide range of services at no charge to children living with cancer and their families. Their goal is to make sure children battling cancer know they are not alone. CLF works with over 160 specialized treatment centers, and now serves over 15,000 children each year, age newborn to 21 and represent the full ethnic diversity of our country.
About Lutheran Children's Hospital
Lutheran Children's Hospital opened in 1999 as a result of several local pediatricians who envisioned bringing families throughout northeast Indiana access to expert pediatric medical care that wouldn't require a half-day's drive to receive. Today, Lutheran Children's Hospital teams with more than 75 pediatricians practicing in 27 areas of pediatric specialty in an environment filled with imagination and color. The award-winning design of the tree house elevator, specially decorated rooms, hallways and waiting areas invite children and their families to focus on something other than the often unpleasant purpose of their visit. Lutheran Children's Hospital believes children are special people, not just small adults.
As a Business of Caring, CIGNA (NYSE: CI) provides employers with benefits, expertise and services that improve the health, well-being and security of their employees. With approximately 47 million covered lives in the United States and around the world, CIGNA's operating subsidiaries offer a full portfolio of medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits and group life, accident and disability insurance.
About CIGNA Foundation
CIGNA Foundation is a private foundation funded by contributions from CIGNA Corporation and its subsidiaries. The CIGNA Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where CIGNA employees live and work.