CHICAGO, Nov. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center has named Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) a winner in the 2016 Corporate Citizenship Awards in the "health and wellness" category. The company was honored for its Taking on Asthma initiative, most notably, its collaboration with the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest for the Enhancing Care For Children with Asthma program. "Asthma has a tremendous impact on families in our communities, resulting in missed days of school and work and also increased medical costs if not properly managed," said David Sandor, vice president, public affairs, HCSC." We believe replicable partnerships and programs can significantly improve health outcomes for children with asthma and address an important health need through clinical staff training and resources. We are proud to share this honor with the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest, and value their continued collaboration." Through the Enhancing Care for Children with Asthma project, HCSC, which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield health Plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, identifies large populations of high-risk patients with asthma and delivers community-based interventions to those populations by implementing best practices and resources within health clinics to improve the quality of care delivered to individuals with asthma. Through 2015, the project is estimated to have reached more than 350,000 individuals through nearly 90 clinic locations across Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. In 2016, the program was expanded to communities in Montana. Initial results from 28 participating clinic locations in Illinois and New Mexico demonstrated a 62 percent decrease in hospitalizations for children diagnosed with asthma and a 54 percent decrease in emergency department visits for the same population. 1 Improving the quality of care translates to better-managed asthma, reduced symptoms and associated costs, in addition to improving the quality of life for those individuals impacted. "We are proud and encouraged by the positive impact our collaboration with HCSC has made in the lives of children and their families," said Lew Bartfield, chief executive officer, American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest. "Asthma is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions children face in our country, and programs like this one, empower children with asthma and their caretakers to be active and engaged in their treatment. Congratulations HCSC and we look forward to our continuing our work in the years to come." The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Awards honor businesses for their significant positive impacts in communities around the world. For 17 years, this awards program has illustrated how every day businesses serve as a powerful force for good around the world. Companies and chambers of commerce from around the globe compete for the Citizens' Award, making them one of the most coveted opportunities for recognition in corporate citizenship.