BOSTON — April 25, 2011 — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), a locally-based, community-focused health plan, today announced its goals for advancing the company's four community focus areas—developed to support those living and working in Massachusetts. Focus areas include: healthy child development, education enrichment, healthy environments/family nutrition, and sustainable health care. Throughout the year BCBSMA's strategic investments and volunteer time will directly support these areas.
In collaboration with community leaders, BCBSMA developed the following goals:
- Healthy Child Development—Provide children (ages 0-5) from economically challenged families with the resources needed to grow, learn and achieve by supporting organizations that advance physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development while strengthening parent/caregiver support.
- Education Enrichment—Help at-risk youth become engaged learners, scholars and leaders, by supporting programs that foster mentorship from supportive adults.
- Healthy Environments and Family Nutrition—Enhance neighborhoods and advance the nutrition of Massachusetts residents by partnering with organizations that improve the environment, increase access to safe, green spaces, and promote locally produced food.
- Sustainable Health Care System—Build a system that brings high quality, affordable health care to the entire community by supporting health care access programs and policy research, specifically through investments in the BCBSMA Foundation.
Healthy Environments Launches with Earth Day
Healthy Environments activities, timed with Earth Day, kicked-off with BCBSMA associates volunteering at several events that included: planting trees and removing invasive plants around Boston, clean up of the Charles River, and improving the pond and greenhouse area for the Brockton campus of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System.
"BCBSMA's BlueCrew volunteers have been helping with the pond restoration at the VA for over four years now," said Richard Leeman, Assistant Chief of Voluntary Services for VA Boston Healthcare System. "You could barely see the pond when they first began revitalizing it on a 90-degree Earth Day four years ago. What started with ten volunteers has blossomed into forty. Blue Cross is an example of a kind and caring organization that's committed to making the community and environment a better place."
Created almost 60 years ago, the pond was in need of some TLC. It is now enjoyed by the veterans who are patients, along with their friends and family. It's a tranquil place adorned with hand crafted totem poles in support of the Native American presence that remains in the area, benches for relaxing, flowers, and a walking path. The pond also contains plenty of fish for catching.
In addition to Earth Day activities in support of Healthy Environments, BCBSMA is making an impact through its green@blue program which encourages associates to limit their footprint on the environment. A pilot program, hosted in BCBSMA's Hingham office, resulted in associates reducing paper usage by 22 percent and curbing electricity waste by powering down PCs and monitors at night. This year, green@blue programs will roll out in all office locations.
"We are proud to have a strong brand built on nearly 75 years of serving the community as a locally-based, community-minded health plan," said Andrew Dreyfus, President and CEO of BCBSMA. "Our strong legacy of community involvement, corporate citizenship, the world-class service we provide to our members/employer customers, and the dedication of our associates (who last year dedicated nearly 16,000 hours of service to the community) will be enhanced through our new focus areas and goals as they continue to roll out."
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts' Community Commitment
For nearly 75 years BCBSMA has been serving the community as a locally-based, community-minded health plan. Through strategic investment, targeted initiatives, and the engaged civic leadership of our associates, BCBSMA is a catalyst for improving the health, vitality, and educational excellence of families facing economic challenge in the Commonwealth through its four focus areas of: healthy child development, education enrichment, healthy environments/family nutrition, and sustainable health care.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (www.bluecrossma.com) was founded 74 years ago and is now the largest private health plan in the state, providing coverage to nearly 3 million members. BCBSMA believes in working with physicians, hospitals, employers and the broader community to provide quality, affordable health care in Massachusetts. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.