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Highmark member Helen Michener is walking across Pennsylvania to raise awareness about the importance of breat cancer screenings

"Not Knowing Won't Save You, But Knowing Might"

Highmark Will Donate $1 for Each Cancer Screening "Nudge" Sent During Helen's Freedom From Breast Cancer: A Survivor's Walk, October 2-8, 2016

Highmark Inc.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Sept. 30, 2016) — Helen Michener, a three-year breast cancer survivor, will walk from Philadelphia's Liberty Bell to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, October 2-8. An indefatigable fundraiser for the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, Helen's Freedom From Breast Cancer: A Survivor's Walk will raise money for the Coalition. A nurse by training, she will also promote the importance of early detection and encourage those she meets along the way to keep current with recommended cancer screenings.

People can be apprehensive, even fearful, about getting a mammogram or any cancer screening, acknowledged Helen Michener. "They're afraid of what they may find. I always say not knowing won't save you, but knowing might!"

Highmark and Helen teamed up because Helen is a Highmark Freedom Blue PPO member who shares Highmark's commitment to spreading the word about the importance of early detection through regular cancer screenings. Recognizing that sometimes people need a little "Nudge" Helen and Highmark came together to give them one. Helen will encourage those she encounters on the road to visit Highmark's Nudge Kit website. Highmark will donate $1 for each Nudge during Helen's walk (up to $1,000) to the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition.

Highmark launched the Nudge Kit in May 2016. It quickly boasted an engagement rate that was more than twice the health care industry average for website landing pages. People can select among video nudge-o-grams, nudge notes, and social nudges. Or, they can use a gallery of ‘nudge-spirations' as a jumping off point to create their own. Nudges can be customized with personal video, photographs and special effects for more meaningful connection.

"Highmark's Nudge campaign took a lighthearted, humorous approach to cancer screenings precisely to alleviate some of the nervousness standing in the way of people getting screened," said Virginia Calega. M.D., Vice President of Strategic Clinical Solutions and leader of the Highmark Cancer Collaborative. "It's no laughing matter that one in four women (25 percent) are not up to date with mammograms, or that three in four people put off getting screened for cancer even though many cancers have a survival rate of 90 percent when found early."

"Grassroots partners like Helen are truly the heartbeat of our organization," said Pat Halpin-Murphy, President and Founder of the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC). "They literally keep us running. Not only is Helen taking on an enormous physical challenge by walking over 100 miles in one week, she is doing it to raise awareness and funds for the PBCC. Money raised through this initiative will not only touch the lives of breast cancer survivors throughout the state, it will go directly to cancer researchers working to find a cure. Her undeniable spirit and dedication to our mission of finding a cure for breast cancer now, so our daughters won't have to, inspires us all."


Friend Helen's Facebook page.

Read Helen's Blog on the Highmark Blog.

Learn more about the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition at

About Highmark Inc.

Highmark Inc. and its health insurance subsidiaries and affiliates collectively are among the ten largest health insurers in the United States and comprise the fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated organization. Highmark and its diversified businesses and affiliates operate health insurance plans in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia that serve 5.2 million members and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the Blue Card program. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance, vision care and other related businesses. Highmark 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, visit

For more information, contact:
Wendy Morphew
Highmark Media Relations
412-544-3616 (office)
917-697-1782 (cell)