WATERTOWN, Mass., Sept. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Back-to-school brings on new meaning this year due to the coronavirus pandemic gripping the world. With students and families facing new learning environments, there is an exceptional need for new kinds of school supplies. Because of this, Tufts Health Plan has teamed with area nonprofits to provide children with essential back-to-school items to set them up for success. Supplies include Chromebooks for those in remote or hybrid learning environments, accessible Wi-Fi connections in remote areas and traditional school items, such as backpacks.
"While school looks different this fall, the need for school supplies remains, especially as many families grapple to meet basic needs," said Tom Croswell, president and CEO of Tufts Health Plan. "We hope these supplies and donations contribute in some small way to students' success this school year."
In total, 17 organizations throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut received funding and supplies from Tufts Health Plan as part of the organization's efforts to address common barriers many children and families face. In addition to company donations, more than 100 employees at Tufts Health Plan contributed back-to-school items. In total, Tufts Health Plan has donated close to $60,000, including in-kind donations, to area nonprofits providing children across the region with essential back-to-school items.
"Tufts Health Plan's contribution of backpacks and school supplies ensures that the many children in the Worcester Community will have the basic tools they need to start off this school year," said Gordon P. Hargrove, executive director of Friendly House, Inc. "Tufts Health Plan's support of Friendly House throughout the years has made a positive impact on hundreds of families and we are truly grateful."
"What may have been considered a convenience before the pandemic, is now accepted as crucial for learning, working and accessing important services," said Jennifer Hawkins, executive director of ONE Neighborhood Builders. "The pandemic has shuttered libraries, coffee shops, community centers and other places that generally offer free Wi-Fi. In response, we launched a fundraising campaign to bring free, high-speed Internet to the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence. With generous support from Tufts Health Plan, we are one step closer to implementing ONE Neighborhood Connects: Community Wi-Fi, that will reach over 1500 households."
The full list of organizations include:
Chelsea Public Schools
Children and Family Services
Eliot Family Resource Center
Higher Ground Boston
Watertown Boys and Girls Club
Boys and Girls Club Providence
City of Central Falls
One Neighborhood Builders
Paul Cuffee School
R.I.S.E. (Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education)
Connecticut's Coalition to End Homelessness and New Hampshire's Families in Transition also received back-to-school funds.
About Tufts Health Plan Tufts Health Plan is nationally recognized for its commitment to providing innovative, high-quality health care coverage. Staying true to our mission of improving the health and wellness of the diverse communities we serve, we touch the lives of more than 1.15 million members in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut through employer-sponsored plans; Medicare; Medicaid and Marketplace plans, offering health insurance coverage across the life span regardless of age or circumstance. We are continually among the top health plans in the country based on quality and member satisfaction. Our Tufts Medicare Preferred HMO and Senior Care Options plans received a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the highest rating possible.* Our commercial HMO/POS and Massachusetts PPO plans are rated 5 out of 5 – the highest rating possible – by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).** Our Medicaid plan is rated 4.5 out of a possible 5.***
*Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-Star rating system. Star Ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next. For more information on plan ratings, go to www.medicare.gov. Tufts Medicare Preferred HMO plans received 5 out of 5 stars for contract years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020. **NCQA's Private Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2019–2020 ***NCQA's Medicaid Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2019-2020.