ATLANTA--()--With roots dating back to 1937, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) has a proud tradition of serving not only its members, but also the broader community. In 2012, this legacy continued as the health insurer, its charitable foundation and local associates contributed more than $2.6 million and hundreds of volunteer hours to vital organizations and causes across the state.
“However, our hope is that by improving the lives of individuals we can make inroads on the major health challenges of our time and create brighter futures for families across the state.”
“More than 2.4 million Georgia residents – and about 1-in-3 Americans – carry a Blue Cross and Blue Shield card,” said Morgan Kendrick, president, BCBSGa. “We understand how health causes impact people at a very personal level, and that’s why we’re working hard to ensure quality, affordable health care solutions remain within reach for businesses, families, individuals and seniors. As an important part of our daily mission, we’re also honored to be able to support local and national organizations that are making a difference and improving the quality of life in our state.”
Through its State Health Index – a compilation of public health measures – and Healthy Generations grant program, BCBSGa and its foundation work to identify the health issues most in need of attention and then direct charitable support and volunteer efforts toward improving those areas. Major areas of focus for BCBSGa in 2012 included promoting active lifestyles and working to reduce the devastating impact of chronic illnesses, supporting the fight against cancer and working to lower childhood obesity rates on Georgia children.
Key areas of support included:
- American Cancer Society – Making Strides Against Cancer-Atlanta, Relay for Life-Columbus;
- American Diabetes Association – Tour de Cure-Atlanta;
- Hosea Feed the Hungry – Senior Celebrations Program, Atlanta; and Back Pack Jamboree
- Scott Rigsby Foundation – Wounded Warrior Bike Event, Alpharetta;
Grants provided by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation in 2012 included:
- $287,000 to support HealthMPowers program in 50 elementary schools;
- $213,480 to the American Heart Association for hands-only CPR training;
- $80,200 to the March of Dimes to enroll pregnant women in Centering Pregnancy programs to combat low-birth weight babies; and
- $125,000 to support the American Cancer Society’s Patient Navigator programs
Georgia communities also benefit from grants made BCBSGa’s parent company to national and regional organizations, such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America, OASIS Institute, USA Blind Athletes and CancerCare.
Formal grants and sponsorships are supplemented by informal charitable activities and donation drives organized by BCBSGa offices and business units over the course of the year. Beneficiaries of these efforts include Hosea Feed the Hungry. Georgia associates also proudly serve as community volunteers and board members for a broad range of non-profits.
On an annual basis, BCBSGa’s local associates enthusiastically support two of the parent company’s signature social responsibility programs: Community Service Day and Associate Giving Campaign.
Community Service Day – On April 28, 2012, company associates and their families also volunteered at community organizations throughout Georgia during the company’s Community Service Day. Taking place at 12 sites throughout Georgia, the annual effort benefitted nonprofits dedicated to improving the quality of life in local communities, including the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Old Savannah City Mission, Open Door Community in Columbus and Ruth Byck Adult Day Care Center.
Associate Giving Campaign – Each November, BCBSGa associates make one time contributions and ongoing pledges to health-focused charities through the company’s Associate Giving Campaign. The six charities in the 2011-2012 campaign were: American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Community Health Charities, Feeding America, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and United Way. Contributions made through the campaign are backed by a 50 percent match from the BCBSGa Foundation, bringing the total paid out in 2012 to nearly $540,000.
“The health causes we are supporting are not quick-fix issues,” said Kendrick. “However, our hope is that by improving the lives of individuals we can make inroads on the major health challenges of our time and create brighter futures for families across the state.”
About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s annual associate giving campaign and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association®. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia is available at www.bcbsga.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinInBCBSGa, visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin or check out the Our Health Connects Us campaign site at http://connects.bcbsga.com/.