Blue Shield of California's 'Shield of Honor' Recognizes Inspirational Moms

Nov 22, 2010, 11:07 ET from Blue Shield of California

Ten Community Leaders Honored for Building Healthier Communities

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 22, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- California moms are getting a special honor for making an impact in their communities. Today, not-for-profit health plan Blue Shield of California announced the finalists of its "Shield of Honor" recognition program. It was created to honor California mothers who have demonstrated inspirational leadership in the health and wellness of their families, neighborhoods, or local communities.

The six-week social media pilot launched on October 5th through the networking platform, BigTent. Blue Shield solicited online nominations for all California women who have gone above & beyond their role as a mom to inspire and help others. More than 2,000 people actively participated by nominating a mom, or voting on the finalists. Many others helped spread the word about the opportunity via Facebook, Twitter and other social media avenues.

"Through targeted messaging to thousands of moms who belong to these networking groups, we were able to pay tribute in a small way to the achievements of local women who have found unique ways to make an impact on health," said Sue deLeeuw, director of brand at Blue Shield of California. "Though ten mothers were recognized publicly with our Shield of Honor, we respect the accomplishments of all parents who make improving the well-being of others a priority."

The top four finalists, determined by votes within the BigTent social network, received an Apple iPad and will be recognized on our Facebook page at  

  • Jackie Kubicka is the founder of FamiliesCAN (, a group that provides financial support in managing the non-medical expenses of families facing cancer. This allows the patient to channel their energy toward healing. Jackie is donating her Apple iPad to a cancer patient.
  • Liz McCarthy, a mother to micropreemie twins, started an online support group ( for parents struggling with the challenges of raising (or losing) a pre-term baby.
  • Suzanne McKechnie Klahr created BUILD ( to work with at-risk 9-12th graders get real-world entrepreneurial experience, excel in education and build self-confidence, and to realize healthier futures.
  • Stephanie Rach-Wilson's mission is to engage kids with the great outdoors. Her nonprofit, Growing Up for Good (, funds programs to expose underserved kids to nature.

Six runners-up received an Apple iTunes gift card: Kimberly Erlich, LaRee Florence, Ellen Manerud, Lynne Maggioncalda, Jennifer Cowie King, and Lee Garverick.

About Blue Shield

Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health plan with 3.5 million members, 4,800 employees, and one of the largest provider networks in California. Founded in 1939 and headquartered in San Francisco, Blue Shield of California offers a wide range of commercial and government products throughout the state. The company has contributed more than $125 million over the past four years to the Blue Shield of California Foundation—which this year was named one of BusinessWeek's 20 most generous corporate foundations. Contact your local agent or broker for more information about Blue Shield products and services, or visit the Blue Shield website at

About BigTent

BigTent is where trusted groups connect online. The free platform for family-friendly organizations strengthens group involvement and simplifies group management. By combining the best of today's social networking features with group management tools, BigTent helps real-world communities share, communicate and organize online and in-person. Founded in 2006, the company is headquartered in San Francisco and currently hosts parents groups, PTAs, schools, neighborhood groups, hobby clubs, professional and alumni associations, and other community groups nationwide. BigTent is part of Federated Media Publishing.  Learn more at


Mary Taing

Corporate Communications Associate

(415) 229-5627

SOURCE Blue Shield of California