Enrollment is open and classes are beginning for the UnitedHealthcare
JOIN for MESM program – now available to Medicaid recipients
living in South Texas.
JOIN for ME, introduced in Rhode Island last year, is a weight
management program that helps generally healthy children reach a
healthier weight and reduce their health risks through exercise,
nutrition and support from their families and communities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that a
third of all children in the United States are obese or overweight,
leading to increased health risks like prediabetes, higher health care
costs and decreased parental productivity at work. According to the
Texas Department of Health and Human Services, in the counties where
JOIN for ME is being offered, more than 10 percent of the population is
JOIN for ME – a first-of-its-kind, whole-family program to fight
childhood obesity – engages kids who struggle with extra weight, along
with their parents, in a series of group sessions to achieve healthier
weights through healthier family food choices, increased activity, and
lifestyle improvement tracking. Each session is built on the framework
of group support, learning practical strategies and implementing change
in a family’s everyday life.
Medicaid beneficiaries in Hidalgo and Jefferson counties who are
interested in JOIN for ME can call 1-888-887-9003. More information
about JOIN for ME can also be found online here.
“Children who struggle with extra weight are often motivated to change,
but they can’t do it alone. They must have the support and full
involvement of their families to make healthy eating and
family-lifestyle choices that include exercise,” said Noreen Yukon, CEO
of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Texas, the company’s Medicaid
business. “We are grateful for the opportunity to offer a proven program
like JOIN for ME in partnership with Federally Qualified Health Centers
and Boys & Girls Clubs to help young people and their families live
JOIN for ME was developed by UnitedHealth Group together with a
scientific advisory board, including Gary Foster from Temple University.
In the original proof-of-concept study, JOIN for ME partnered with the
YMCA of the USA and the YMCA of Greater Providence, R.I. The study
demonstrated that the combination of whole-family engagement helped
participants achieve significant reductions in extra weight. After six
months, 84 percent of the 155 participants completed the full program
and achieved, on average, a 3.5-percent reduction in extra weight.
Equally promising is that parents of participants also lost weight in
the study, opening the door for new wellness models that engage the
About Boys & Girls Club of McAllen Metro
The BGC McAllen
Metro defines as one of the foundations of its impact formula for youth,
healthy lifestyles. BGC McAllen Metro provides 1) academic success, 2)
healthy lifestyles; and 3) good character. BGC McAllen Metro has a
regional reach serving youth in Hidalgo and Starr counties with units in
Rio Grande City, La Joya, McAllen and Weslaco. BGC McAllen Metro serves
13,600 youth annually with outreach services to an additional 3,000 for
a grand service total over 17,000 youth.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to
helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health
care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs and
sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers
the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers
and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with
more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals
nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is
one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified
Fortune 50 health and well-being company.