Dr. Christina Wilds (left), Manager of Community Health and Programs at Highmark Health, delivers face masks to Dr. Sharon Higginbothan (right), Chief Operating Officer for Bethlehem Haven shelter in Uptown.
Monday, October 12, 2020
Donation benefitting 145 community organizations across three states culminates Highmark’s 1.3 million face mask initiative
PITTSBURGH (October 12, 2020) — As part of its ongoing initiative to provide more than 1.3 million cloth face masks across its footprint, Highmark Inc. is donating over 100,000 masks to community organizations in need throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware. The initiative is yet another way Highmark is providing support to its members and the community amid the ongoing covid-19 pandemic.
Across the three states, 145 community organizations received the bulk-quantities of face masks including more than 90,000 adult-size face masks and 4,300 youth-size face masks. In Southwestern Pennsylvania specifically, over 21,500 masks were donated to 72 community organizations. This most recent donation marks the final installment of the initiative launched in May.
Highmark’s parent company, Highmark Health, also joined the cause by partnering with a local organization, Sewing for Angels, to provide an extra 500 youth masks. Sewing for Angels is a program from the nonprofit Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation created in response to the personal protective equipment shortage during the pandemic.
Additionally, 5,000 face masks were donated to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Latino Connection for the CATE mobile unit conducting covid-19 testing and educational outreach across Pennsylvania.
“Highmark remains committed to keeping those who do so much for our communities safe and healthy during the ongoing pandemic,” shared Evan Frazier, Senior Vice President of Community Affairs for Highmark Health. “We want to make sure these organizations are able to continue their operations safely.”
The organizations selected to receive the donated face masks include Bethlehem Haven shelter in Pittsburgh, United Way in Delaware, the Bureau of Senior Services in West Virginia, and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, among others. Quantities of masks were determined based on the size of the organization’s staff.
Highmark also worked with one of its vendors, Blue Bear Protection, to create a website that allows any organization to order PPE supplies in bulk quantities and at a discounted rate. Those interested can visit http://hmkcommunityppe.com/ to purchase supplies.
The donation to community organizations culminates Highmark’s 1.3 million face mask initiative, which kicked off in May with the donation to over 40,000 EMS providers in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware.
From there, Highmark’s efforts included sending face masks to at-risk and vulnerable members, employer groups, and now community organizations in need. Highmark also recently supplied enough PPE for all students, teachers, and staff members at nearly 500 school districts in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware.
About Highmark Inc.
One of America's leading health insurance organizations and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Highmark Inc. (the Health Plan) and its affiliated health plans (collectively, the Health Plans) work passionately to deliver high-quality, accessible, understandable, and affordable experiences, outcomes, and solutions to customers. As the fourth-largest overall Blue Cross Blue Shield-affiliated organization, Highmark Inc. and its Blue-branded affiliates proudly cover the insurance needs of more than 5.6 million members in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance and other related businesses. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.
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