August 25, 2010

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Teams Up With the Hornets and Ochsner to Launch BEE-Fit Challenge in Jefferson Parish

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) has teamed up with the New Orleans Hornets and Ochsner to launch the BEE-Fit Challenge, a pilot program to promote health, physical activity, fitness and enjoyment for Jefferson Parish school district students in grades K through 5.

The BEE-Fit Challenge will reach approximately 24,000 Jefferson Parish students and educate them about the importance of physical fitness and healthy nutrition in an effort to fight childhood obesity and encourage students to be fit for life.

“When it comes to getting healthy, it’s never too young to start. The BEE-Fit Challenge will allow even the youngest children to learn the importance of eating right and moving more, the core values of our Louisiana 2 Step program,” said Mike Reitz, BCBSLA president and CEO. “We are excited to be part of this wonderful initiative to help combat childhood obesity in a state where our children are among the heaviest in the nation.” 

The BEE-Fit Challenge will further BCBSLA’s efforts to fight childhood obesity. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation developed Smart Bodies, a school-based program that teaches children in kindergarten through 5th grade about nutrition and fitness. This signature Foundation program, in partnership with the LSU AgCenter, integrates classroom activities with hands-on learning.

In conjunction with its statewide Louisiana 2 Step wellness program, BCBSLA offers 2 Step 4 Kids (, which provides fun interactive tools and tips for children ages 5 through 12 on ways to “Eat Right. Move More.” The 2 Step 4 Kids site also provides resources for parents and teachers. Both Smart Bodies and 2 Step 4 Kids are part of the educational component of the BEE-Fit Challenge.

About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation is building a healthier Louisiana through community outreach and charitable giving. Smart Bodies is one of two signature programs. The other, the Angel Award®, is an annual honor for outstanding volunteers who make a difference in the lives of Louisiana children. In addition, Blue Cross contributes nearly $2 million annually in financial aid to various non-profit organizations throughout the state that contribute to health, education and the overall quality of life in our communities. When we put dollars into Blue Cross communities, it makes Louisiana a better place for everyone. The Foundation is funded solely through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) is the oldest and largest Louisiana-based health insurance company. BCBSLA is a not-for-profit, fully taxed mutual insurer, owned by policyholders and governed by a local Board of Directors. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

The company provides group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to more than 1.3 million members. With headquarters in Baton Rouge and eight district offices, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana employs more than 1,800 Louisianians who are committed to improving the lives of its customers by providing them with health guidance and affordable access to quality care.

Learn more on the company’s website at or on Facebook at Follow Blue Cross on Twitter at and CEO Mike Reitz at