Press Releases

Monday, August 30, 2021

Highmark Blue Shield supports future generations of frontline nurses at Northampton Community College

  • $1,000 scholarships awarded to five current students

Bethlehem, Pa. (August 30, 2021) — Highmark Blue Shield is proudly showing its support for the future generation of frontline healthcare professionals in the Lehigh Valley through a Frontline Worker Grant to students at Northampton Community College. 

Five nursing students currently enrolled at Northampton Community College will each receive a $1,000 scholarship for the 2021-2022 school year. The students are all entering their final semester of college and anticipate graduating this winter as Registered Nurses (RN).

  • Frank Ascione III of Bethlehem, Pa.
  • Liz Salvadore of Bethlehem, Pa.
  • Lauren Stack of Hampton, N.J.
  • Matthew Turner of Macungie, Pa.
  • Stacy Long of Bethlehem, Pa.

“Highmark is proud to support the bright futures of these soon-to-be frontline caregivers,” shared Kathleen McKenzie, Vice President of Community Affairs for Highmark Blue Shield. “We will always hold those who answer the calling to serve and care for others to the highest regard, and we cannot thank them enough for choosing such a noble profession.”

“At this critical time in healthcare as our profession navigates a nationwide nursing shortage, associate degree graduates are critical to the pipeline of front-line providers,” added Mary Jean Osborne, director of the nursing program at Northampton Community College. “We are most grateful to Highmark Blue Shield for recognizing the value of our graduates and supporting them on their pathway to the profession.” 

The Northampton scholarships mark the fourth installment in a series of Frontline Worker Grants to support current college students pursuing careers in healthcare. In December 2020, Highmark Inc. and Allegheny Health Network announced a grant for the Grove City College Johnson School of Nursing to support incoming nursing students in the fall of 2021. In February 2021, Highmark presented a grant to a nursing student at Carlow University in Pittsburgh. In March 2021, Highmark presented a grant Messiah University to support technology upgrades in the nursing department’s Wellness Center. Highmark plans to continue to extend the program to additional colleges and universities around Pennsylvania in the coming months.

About Highmark Blue Shield
Highmark Inc., doing business as Highmark Blue Shield, serves approximately 1.1 million members through the company’s health care benefits business and hundreds of thousands of additional individuals through the BlueCard® program. Highmark Blue Shield has significant commercial market share and strong Medicare Advantage membership [through certain of its affiliated Blue companies] as well. Through its affiliated Blue companies, all of Highmark's Medicare Advantage plans in Pennsylvania received a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services quality rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. Highmark Blue Shield employs approximately 3,500 people in central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley, serving as a key economic driver in the region. Highmark Blue Shield’s total economic impact throughout central Pennsylvania is more than $978 million. Highmark Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit

For more information, contact

Emily Beatty
Highmark Health
513- 678-9620