CHICAGO, Jan. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2016 by rallying employees to volunteer and give back to our local communities. Now BCBSIL is honoring the best of our volunteer best - Caitlin Urbain is the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois 2016 Volunteer of the Year.
In three years at the health insurer, Caitlin has distinguished herself as an outstanding volunteer leader and advocate within the company and the broader community.
Caitlin is a process design consultant at BCBSIL's Chicago Office and focuses much of her volunteer efforts on advocating for people with disabilities. She serves as Vice Chair for In-Abled, an employee organization that champions inclusion for people with disabilities, as well as the needs and concerns of caregivers. Caitlin previously served two years as the In-Abled Community Chair. She also has managed BCBSIL's participation in the Disability Pride Parade, organized volunteers for Misericordia's Candy Days and Family Fest and volunteered with Chicago Cares, Tutormate, Special Olympics, the American Heart Association and as a mentor to high school students.
"I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve my community," says Caitlin. "I enjoy connecting with others – both volunteers and those that we support."
Caitlin grew up in the Chicago suburb of Western Springs, and began her advocacy for those with disabilities while attending the University of Notre Dame.
"During college, I was an intern at Misericordia, a non-profit which supports people with developmental disabilities and at Little Friends Krejci Academy, a school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder," says Urbain. "These experiences sparked my passion for advocating for people with disabilities."
"Caitlin's passion for giving back is contagious and she's a great representative of our employees' commitment to volunteering," says Maurice Smith, President of BCBSIL. "Our mission is to stand with our members in sickness and in health. By getting out and being involved in the community – we're able to impact our members' health and better understand their needs. It's just the right thing to do."
BCBSIL awarded Caitlin with $1,000 to donate to a non-profit of her choice and she elected to donate the stipend to Access Living, an organization that aims to help Chicagoans with disabilities live fully-engaged and self-directed lives.
"Caitlin's work with the Access Living Young Professionals Council has been a great addition to Access Living," says Gary Arnold, Public Affairs Manager for Access Living. "With the support of Caitlin's leadership, she and the Young Professionals Council have delivered messages about disability awareness, disability rights and disability pride to new audiences that Access Living has been unable to reach before now."
Caitlin is pursuing a Master's in Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
"I am honored to be named Volunteer of the Year. I truly enjoy volunteering and have gained so much from it over the years. My time spent volunteering has influenced my passions and goals."
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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois