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Blue Cross announces new community partner strategy

BOSTON — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), a locally-based, community-focused health plan, announced its new community partner strategy at a reception earlier this month. To support the Commonwealth, the company will focus on four key areas: healthy child development, education enrichment, healthy environments and family nutrition, and sustainable health care. More than 150 of BCBSMA's partners gathered at the reception to engage with the company about its revitalized strategy, including the United Way, Special Olympics, Room to Grow, Cradles to Crayons and Horizons for Homeless Children.
"After reviewing our community involvement and discussing it with company executives and employees on all levels, as well as a cross section of community leaders, we identified four focus areas that align with our company vision," Jeff Bellows, senior director of community relations at BCBSMA, said. "We will work collaboratively with our partners to improve the health and wellbeing of Massachusetts' residents, the environment and health care system of the state."
Charitable contributions, volunteer time, and board leadership will now be considered through the lens of these focus areas:
Healthy Child Development: support for organizations that provide children the resources needed to grow, learn and achieve.
Education Enrichment: part-nerships with programs that help young people become engaged learners, scholars and leaders.
Healthy Environments and Family Nutrition: partnerships with organizations that foster safe neighborhoods and encour-age/increase community access to healthy produce, green spaces and outdoor recreational activities.
Sustainable Health Care System: support for organizations focused on building a system that brings high quality, affordable health care to the entire community.
"Development is ongoing and we'll be working closely with our friends in the community to advance these priorities in the coming year," continued Bellows.
"BCBSMA's revitalized priorities coincide with our goals of improving education, helping residents achieve financial stability, and promoting healthy lives," said Mike Durkin of the United Way, a long-time partner of Blue Cross. "We look forward to a collaborative process of defining clear goals to better meet the needs of the Commonwealth."
At the Community Partners' Reception, BCBSMA President and CEO Andrew Dreyfus spoke about his personal experiences giving back to the community.
"I grew up in a family where community, charity, and vol-unteerism were very important," said Dreyfus. "As a boy I remember going door to door with my father to raise money for the United Way. BCBSMA's commitment as a community leader is no different.
"Last year, our employees donated $7.5 million through community work and contributions to local charities, volunteered a total of 14,700 hours at different charitable organizations and assisted with 160 volunteer projects statewide — this work will continue."
Through strategic investment, targeted initiatives and the engaged civic leadership of its employees, BCBSMA works to improve the lives of families in need — at home, with schools, and in the neighborhoods they call home.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts — www.blue-crossma.com — was founded 73 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.