The Cancer Division of the Blue Envelope Health Fund is committed to improving the health and well-being of oncology patients.
Patients and their families experience care and compassion through the patient assistance fund, emergency medication fund, continuing education for oncology medical professionals, and purchase of medical equipment to aid the professionals and community. The availability of support services are the reflections of a dynamic and active involvement of the Cancer Division of the Blue Envelope Health Fund.
Chemical treatment of cancer was just beginning in the 1950s. The Blue Envelope Cancer Division literally brought Oncology to Casper. The Division provided funds for chemotherapy to patients prior to insurance coverage of "experimental" drug therapy. For several years the Cancer Division provided Chemotherapy to uninsured victims of the disease.
Early grants were given for cancer research, and the Cancer Division funded the first "Cancer Bed" for research in Wyoming through cooperative funding with the Damon Runyon Research Foundation, named for the famed sports writer and author who died of throat cancer. Blue Envelope donated $3,000 to the Damon Runyon fund. Soon after, Blue Envelope was recognized and received $5,000 to fund cancer research in Casper from the Runyon Foundation.
Support for "Home Away from Home" and "Luther Home" gave out of town patients affordable housing during treatment. In 1995 this Division purchased an Oncology van to provide transportation for patients to and from treatments at the medical center. The Cancer Division supports the George Kelly Pain Management Fund at WMC, the Cancer Resource Center, individual assistance, emergency medication funds, medical equipment purchases, and helps patients enroll in pharmaceutical scholarship programs.
The Heart Division of the Blue Envelope Health Fund provides financial assistance to people with heart disease and educates the public through prevention programs, such as CPR training.
The Division also funds equipment purchases for the Cardiopulmonary Department of Wyoming Medical Center and Automated External Defibrillators for the community.
The first project of the Heart Division was funding for the Rheumatic Fever/Strep Throat Culture Program instituted in 1954. The project began as a mass culture program in the Casper elementary schools. Students had their throats swabbed if they exhibited any signs of strep infection. Because the program was so successful in eradicating Rheumatic Fever, the program was eventually moved to Wyoming Medical Center. The Heart Division continues to work with the Wyoming Medical Center in offering free throat cultures with a physician's order.
In 1973 with Dr. Harlen Myers as chairman, Blue Envelope began the Blue Envelope Voluntary Blood Donor campaign. The goal of the campaign was to have only volunteer blood donors for this community and for Casper to have its own Blood Bank to serve the needs of the community.
The CPR Program has been supported by Blue Envelope since its beginning in 1978. Through this program Natrona County residents can receive free CPR training regardless of ability to pay.
The Heart Division has purchased many medical equipment items for the WMC since 1958. We are proud to have been the first organization to place portable Automated External Defibrillators in public locations for emergency treatment of an individual experiencing cardiac arrest. Blue Envelope played a major role in the development of the Life Flight helicopter at Wyoming Medical Center.
The Mental Health Division of Blue Envelope supports mental health and substance abuse services to our community.
The Central Wyoming Counseling Center offers a comprehensive menu of mental health and substance abuse services in central Wyoming. Blue Envelope and the Central Wyoming Counseling Center (CWCC) have a long history of cooperation in meeting the mission of this division, and Blue Envelope has provided financial support to CWCC since its inception. Services are available on a sliding fee scale.
In 1958 several people championed the need for a mental health division in Blue Envelope – and none more strongly than Myra Brown and Bob Ellison. Newspaper articles of the day declined to mention the division. Mental illness was still not discussed in "polite" company.
For the first few years, counseling was provided by a therapist that volunteered a few hours a week; scheduled by a volunteer secretary (Myra Brown); in a volunteered room in the annex of Natrona County High School. Donations to the Blue Envelope Mental Health Division generated additional funding from from the city, county, and state for a community counseling center.
Blue Envelope is proud to have been a part of that early effort that culminated in the Central Wyoming Counseling Center. We continue to support the CWCC through the Mental Health Division.
The Wellness Division seeks to help each member of our community reach optimal health by developing strategies for healthy lifestyles and making informed choices.
The Wellness Division, established in 2001, is the newest division of Blue Envelope.
The greatest opportunity to affect the health of our community is through education and prevention. These goals are why the Blue Envelope Health Fair was initiated in 1973. Major changes in 2005 embraced the new name, "Blue Envelope Health Expo".
According to the Natrona County Health Assessment 1997-1998, from Vision 2000, "since the 1970's, research has indicated that the greatest potential for dramatically reducing disease and death in the United States could be achieved through wellness promotion and disease prevention".
Have you heard someone joke, "If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself"? If each of us begins to take better care of ourselves we would not have a reason to make that statement.
A certain amount of who and what we are is predetermined by our genes. However much of who and what we are depends on how we treat our bodies. Categories of action that influence your health include: physical activity, nutrition, and preventative care. Wellness is not simply the absence of sickness. There are many individuals that have chronic diseases that are otherwise healthy. You don't have to be thin to be fit. All bodies are different, but each of us must take on the responsibility of having the most healthy body we can have. Also, illness is expensive. Get fit and save.
The Wellness Division wants to help in taking steps to health by developing strategies to help our community on the road to Wellness.