Empire BlueCross BlueShield Committed $3.1 Million to Improving Health and Strengthening New York's Communities in 2011



January 19, 2012 
Media Contacts: 
Sally Kweskin,
Empire BlueCross BlueShield
(720) 373-4836
January 19, 2012 – New York, NY – As a part of its mission to improve the lives of the people it serves and the health of New York communities, Empire BlueCross BlueShield today announced that the health plan, its corporate foundation and associates contributed more than more than $3.1 million dollars to health-related causes and community events in 2011.  
“Through our State Health Index – a compilation of public health measures – and Healthy Generations program, Empire and its foundation work to identify New York’s most critical health issues and then direct charitable support and volunteer efforts toward improving them,” said Mark Wagar, President and CEO, Empire BlueCross BlueShield.  
Projects and organizations receiving support from the Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation this year included: 

Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s “Triple Play program”: $17,000 to support and expand the wellness program in New York;

March of Dimes “CenteringPregnancy” program: $150,000 to support a group-based prenatal care program that works to reduce preterm births and improve birth outcomes;

OASIS Institute “CATCH Healthy Habits” program: $41,000 to bring a unique intergenerational wellness program to the Bronx and Albany areas, that teaches kids about the importance of healthy eating, active lifestyles and making good health decisions.

The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families - $90,000 grant helped to fund the Healthy Living Summer Program. The used the Salsa, Sabor, y Salud curriculum to teach Latino families about healthy eating and how to incorporate exercise into daily routines.

In addition to foundation grants, Empire contributed more than $1.3 million to local events, community organizations and nonprofits to enrich the quality of life throughout the state, including:  

National Hispanic Health Foundation

Jewish Community Relations Council

Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health

One Hundred Black Men and its Eagle Academies

Empire associates contributed personally and financially to improving their communities in 2011. Backed by a 50 percent match from its corporate foundation, the men and women of Empire pledged nearly $610,000 to the campaign’s six public health charity beneficiaries: American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Community Health Charities, Feeding America, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and United Way. 
Company associates and their families also volunteered at community organizations throughout New York during the company’s Community Service Day on April 30, 2011. Taking place at more than 21 sites throughout the state, the annual effort benefitted nonprofits dedicated to improving the quality of life in local communities including the Boys and Girls Club of Schenectady New York City Coalition Against Hunger – GreenPoint Food Pantry, Alzheimer’s Association - Central New York Chapter, and the March of Dimes Long Island Chapter - March for Babies East Meadow, among others. 
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