The Jaguars Foundation announced that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF) has made a three-year commitment to partner with the Foundation's Straight Talk program.
The Straight Talk program began in 1995 by Jaguars co-owner and Jaguars Foundation Chair and CEO Delores Barr Weaver, with the goal of preventing teen pregnancy and the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.
BCBSF, the official health plan and community relations partner of the Jaguars, has committed $44,000 annually for three years to help underwrite costs of the Foundation's live town hall forum, held each year in May, and other costs associated with the Straight Talk programs.
Delores Barr Weaver said, "The Jaguars Foundation is proud to partner with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. We applaud their strong commitment to promoting health in our community. Their involvement is a tremendous addition to the incredible partnership with our local media to help educate our youth, parents and community."
Susan Wildes, BCBSF spokesperson, remarked, "Educating youth and parents is a top priority in order to reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancy. Getting our communities involved through the Straight Talk program helps teenagers become more educated about the risks involved so that they make responsible decisions."
Through a unique partnership with local media, Straight Talk's signature program is an annual live televised teen town hall forum. Popular television talk show host and former MTV personality, Ananda Lewis, will host Teens & Sex The Real Truth 2002, on May 23rd. The show will feature Jaguars tight end Kyle Brady and strong safety Donovin Darius, local radio personalities Amadeus and DJ Dr. Doom, and local favorite Jennifer Candelino with an appearance by Delores Barr Weaver. A live studio audience of teens will be guided in discussion by a guest panel of medical, legal and HIV/AIDS experts. Viewers will also be able to participate in the program via the Internet and telephone. The show will be broadcast live from the WJCT-PBS 7 studios, with simulcast on WJXT-CBS 4 and cable television, and web cast on jacksonville.com on Thursday, May 23 from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. All other local Jacksonville television stations will rebroadcast the show from May 25 through May 29.
In addition to the television show, the Straight Talk program includes production of a teen-focused educational video, public service announcements in ALLTEL stadium and on television, the Straight Talk website in partnership with The Florida Times-Union (http://straighttalk.jacksonville.com). The website features year-round answers to teen questions by medical expert Linda Dinerman, M.D. In conjunction with the Weaver Family Foundation, Straight Talk has awarded nearly $300,000 in grants. The Jaguars Foundation has also partnered with the Jacksonville Alliance for the Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy's annual Teen Summit attended by approximately 500 youth. This year the Foundation has partnered with the National Campaign for the Prevention of Teen Pregnancy for its first "National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Day" on May 8, 2002.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida is a leader in Florida's health industry. BCBSF and its subsidiaries serve more than 6 million Floridians. Since 1944, the company has been dedicated to providing caring solutions that meet the diverse and ever-changing needs of all those it serves by offering an array of affordable choices. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, BCBSF is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information concerning BCBSF, please see its website at www.bcbsfl.com