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Press Release

Media Contact: Cheryl Monkhouse
(404) 842-8516

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation and YMCA Team Up for Weight Loss
Free YMCA program and membership offered to participants

ATLANTA (February 2010) – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation (BCBSGA) and the Metro Atlanta YMCA are offering a free, weight loss program within a research study. Called Make a Positive Change, the study’s goal is to determine how obese adults can make positive health changes to avoid the onset of diabetes.
This research study includes a complimentary, six-month YMCA membership with unlimited access to treadmills, exercise bicycles, indoor walking tracks, swimming pools, and exercise equipment specifically designed for individuals with a larger body size. 

The BCBSGA Foundation’s concern for the health of local residents will enable adults with obesity to participate at no cost. The project is being conducted at YMCAs in Alpharetta, Buckhead, East Lake, Lawrenceville, Newnan, Marietta, Ashford Dunwoody, and Southwest Atlanta. Participants will be part of a safe, fun, highly-supportive YMCA coaching process called THE COACH APPROACHÒ.

“Through its ongoing research and evidence-based health programs, the Metro Atlanta YMCA continues to successfully and positively impact local communities,” said Monye Connolly, president of BCBSGA.  “This program has garnered impressive results for past participants and we expect future participants to reap great results as well.”
The Metro Atlanta YMCA developed The Coach Approach exercise process to help build the habit of regular physical activity in adults. It is an evidence-based, behavior-change protocol for new and returning exercisers.

Participants will learn to start and stick to an exercise regimen, reduce health risks associated with obesity and improve energy levels. Over a six-month period, participants will be supported by a personal wellness coach who will provide proper exercise advice on a one-on-one basis. Sessions on proper nutrition also will be provided. 

To participate in the program, individuals must have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or more. For example, a person of 5 feet and 5 inches would be required to weight at least 211 pounds. A participant must also present a written release by their physician authorizing them to participate in a regular exercise program. Other participant requirements include: age of 21 to 60 years; have not participated in a regular exercise program in the last year; not under medical supervision for diabetes; no heart disease or kidney disease; cannot be on psychological or weight loss medications; and must attend a brief orientation session to obtain project materials.

Space is limited and filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Confirm if you qualify, and register today for this free program. Call (404)527-7690 or e-mail Go to for more information.
About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation: Through charitable grant making, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s annual associate giving campaign and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges, which raised more than $2 million to distribute to Georgia’s charitable organizations in 2010. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. To learn more about the Foundation please visit

About Metro Atlanta YMCA: A charitable association, the Metro Atlanta YMCA responds to critical social needs and unites people of all abilities, ages, beliefs, cultures, faiths, and incomes. YMCAs are committed to helping children and young adults develop positive values, volunteer in their communities and become more active; families build stronger bonds and spend quality time together; individuals strengthen their spiritual, mental, physical, and social well-being. At every stage of life, YMCAs help children, families and individuals reach their full potential. Financial assistance is available based on need. Call (404)588-9622 for more information.