Empire BlueCross BlueShield and Its Foundation Commit $1,570,264 in 2010

Statewide commitments include $241,790 contributed through Associate Giving Campaign

Dec 22, 2010, 16:26 ET from Empire BlueCross BlueShield

NEW YORK, Dec. 22, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- To address ongoing health disparities and hardships encountered by millions of American families, the men and women of Empire BlueCross BlueShield and its corporate foundation proudly continued the company's tradition of caring for the people it serves and the health of our communities by contributing $1,570,264 to philanthropic and civic organizations throughout New York in 2010.

Anthem's community efforts for 2010 were highlighted by a $241,790 contribution from its own employees that supported hundreds of community-based non-profit organizations throughout New York. Through its annual Associate Giving Campaign, Anthem employees directed their giving to their choice among numerous health-related 501(c)(3) organizations. The funds pledged received a 50 percent match from the parent company's Foundation, increasing the total to over $362,685.  

"Our associates work hard every day to provide health care benefits to more than six million people throughout the state," said Mark Wagar, president, Empire BlueCross BlueShield. "These same associates are also very committed to the communities where they live and work, particularly during these challenging economic times. I couldn't be more proud of their efforts to help make a difference for people in need."

In addition to the Associate Giving Campaign, the Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation funded $910,307.00 in grants to organizations in New York in 2010, including:

American Diabetes Association

American Red Cross of Greater New York

Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health

Boys & Girls Clubs

Brookdale Hospital Medical Center "Live Light Live Right"

Children Museum of Indianapolis – traveling exhibit

Committee for Hispanic Children and Families

March of Dimes

Nurse Family Partnership

Oasis Institute

One Sight (Vision Van)

Additional grants were awarded to the following national organizations which will directly benefit New York:  Foundation for Health Coverage Education, Trustees of Dartmouth College, New England Healthcare Institute, Engleberg Center for Healthcare Reform at Brookings Institute, Center for Medical Technology Policy, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, and the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy.  In addition to the Foundation grants and generosity of Anthem associates, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New York's community relations commitments totaled $297,272, including support to the following organizations:

African Museum of Art

AIDS Walk NY to benefit the Gay Men's Health Crisis

American Cancer Society

American Red Cross

Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Cadman Church

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

National Medical Fellowship

Primary Care Development Corporation

Sea of Galilee

Senior Services Center of Albany

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation

World Journal

Empire associates are also conducting a coat drive for New York Cares this holiday season to provide new or gently used jackets for struggling New Yorkers.

The community commitments by Empire BlueCross BlueShield and its parent company Foundation total $1,570,264 for 2010.

For more information about the social responsibility of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its parent company, go to http://www.wellpointcorporateresponsibility.com/cr/index.html

About Empire BlueCross and Blue Shield Foundation:

Through charitable grant making, the Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation and the Empire BlueCross Foundation, trade names of the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation L.L.C., independent licensees of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State, promotes Empire's inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Empire serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company's annual associate giving campaign and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates' campaign pledges. To learn more about the Foundation please visit www.wellpointfoundation.org.

About Empire BlueCross BlueShield:

Serving New Yorkers for over 75 years, Empire BlueCross BlueShield is the largest health insurer in New York supporting nearly six million members and more than 38,000 business, union and small employers in New York. Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc., independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State. Additional information about Empire is available at www.empireblue.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinInEmpire, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.

SOURCE Empire BlueCross BlueShield