Highmark and SilverSneakers® host flu and pneumonia vaccine clinic at the Y

September 30, 2011

NEW CASTLE, Pa., Sept, 30, 2011 – Complications from seasonal influenza hospitalize more than 200,000 Americans each year and result in the deaths of more than 36,000 people. Older adults are particularly vulnerable, however only about 64 percent of those over age 65 get the annual seasonal flu vaccine according to the U.S. Department of Health.

Since getting the seasonal flu vaccine each year is the single best way to avoid the flu, Highmark is making the vaccine available at no cost to its members in Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans at the New Castle Community YMCA, a local SilverSneakers location. The pneumonia vaccine is also available at this location at no cost to members.

“Our goal is to keep members healthy, and programs like SilverSneakers and flu shots help to make that a reality,” said Judith Black, M.D., Highmark medical director for senior markets. “We advise our members to get the flu vaccine when it becomes available each year because it will protect against this year’s flu strains, and the protection from the vaccine will last throughout the flu season. It’s also incredibly important to be protected from pneumonia, which is why this vaccine is also available at the local sites.”

Where: Y-Zone                     When: October 3, 2011 8-11 a.m.

Where: YMCA Downtown    When: October 6, 2011 8 a.m.-noon

Who: Highmark FreedomBlue PPO,SecurityBlue HMO and MedigapBlue members. Bring your ID card. All other Medicare-eligible individuals are also welcome to receive flu and pneumonia vaccines at this location, but will need to submit reimbursement to their insurance company.

About Highmark Inc.

Highmark Inc., based in Pittsburgh, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. Highmark serves 4.8 million members in Pennsylvania and West Virginia through the company’s health care benefits business and is one of the largest Blue plans in the nation. Highmark has 19,500 employees across the country. For more than 70 years, Highmark’s commitment to the community has been among the company’s highest priorities as it strives to impact the communities where we do business. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

About the SilverSneakers® Fitness Program

The SilverSneakers® Fitness Program is offered by Healthways, an industry leader providing specialized, comprehensive Health and Care Support solutions to help people maintain or improve their health. SilverSneakers was founded in 1992 and is the nation’s leading exercise program designed exclusively for older adults, offering an innovative blend of physical activity, healthy lifestyle and socially oriented programming. The unique program is available at no additional cost (other than any medical plan premium) to eligible Medicare members and group retirees at more than 9,400 participating fitness and wellness centers, YMCAs and Curves® locations in all 50 states. For more information on SilverSneakers, visit www.silversneakers.com or call 1.888.423.4632.

About the Y

At the Y, we strengthen our community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. We engage 6,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the county’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Rooted in the Lawrence County community for 145 years, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. Learn more at www.ncymca.org.