Select Health and Marcus Lattimore encourage adolescents to be ‘First Choice Fit’

  • Monday, June 3, 2013

Marcus Lattimore, a South Carolina native, former University of South Carolina star running back and 2013 San Francisco 49ers draftee, is now serving as a celebrity spokesperson for Select Health of South Carolina. Lattimore is promoting adolescent well visits among 17 to 21-year-olds on the First Choice Medicaid health plan as part of its “First Choice Fit” campaign. PHOTO PROVIDED

First Choice by Select Health of South Carolina is partnering with Marcus Lattimore, former University of South Carolina star running back and recent San Francisco 49ers draftee, to promote adolescent well visits among 17 to 21-year-olds on its Medicaid health plan as part of its “First Choice Fit” campaign. A S.C. native, Lattimore is now serving as a celebrity spokesperson for Select Health, the state’s oldest and largest Medicaid managed care organization serving more than 255,000 First Choice members in all 46 counties. Select Health is part of AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies. AmeriHealth Caritas is a majority-owned subsidiary of Independence Blue Cross; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan holds a minority interest.

Lattimore, age 21, was chosen as a First Choice spokesperson for his ability to communicate the importance of proper nutrition, exercise and building a relationship with a primary care physician.

“We’re very excited that Marcus Lattimore is spearheading our efforts to get adolescents the preventive care they need,” said Cindy Helling, executive director at Select Health. “Marcus has overcome great challenges through an unwavering commitment to a healthy lifestyle, making him an inspiration to peers who can look up to him as a role model for their own health.”

Select Health’s “First Choice Fit” campaign kicks off with an interview discussing Lattimore’s proactive health strategies, which will appear in the summer issue of Healthy Now, First Choice’s free quarterly member education newsletter reaching more than 130,000 S.C. households in June. Two online videos of this interview will be available at www.selecthealthofsc.com/firstchoice, providing an intimate perspective of Lattimore’s thoughts on the importance of staying First Choice Fit. In addition, more than 7,500 First Choice members, ages 17 to 21, will receive a personalized telephonic message from Lattimore during the week of June 10, emphasizing the importance of well visits.

“My lifelong dream of playing professional football has always been closely tied to my health, so I know how important it is to eat right, be active and get regular well visits with a family doctor,” said Lattimore. “Being First Choice Fit is all about taking proactive control of your own health and not waiting until you’re sick or injured to seek medical attention. It’s a big part of being healthy. Going to see your doctor once a year – just doing that little thing – can go a long way. Your doctor needs to check on you and make sure everything is good.”

Dr. Fred Volkman, pediatrician and chief medical officer at Select Health said, “It’s easy to remember to schedule your well visits if you do it in conjunction with a birthday or during the summer months as a part of back-to-school activities. The good news is that well visits are free for Medicaid recipients and they can even be done as an extension of a sport physical.”

“It’s a big part of being healthy,” said Lattimore.

Well visits are recommended for all children from birth to age 21. They include regular medical check-ups such as eye and hearing tests, blood pressure checks, immunizations, lab tests, monitoring of proper growth and development, screening for lead before a child’s second birthday, body mass index screening, counseling for nutrition and physical activity and dental checkups. Learn more about well visits online at www.selecthealthofsc.com/firstchoice/member/eng/health/wellvisits/index.aspx.

Lattimore was a stellar student at James F. Byrnes High School and became a role model throughout the Duncan community in upstate S.C., where his gridiron prowess as a running back helped him become one of the most accomplished football players in S.C. high school and college history.

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