“JOIN for ME” Program Available to Medicaid Beneficiaries in South Texas

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

managing diabetes.

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

healthier lives.”

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

entire family.

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.

About UnitedHealthcare
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.