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Highmark Delaware provides $325,000 to community organizations fighting the opioid epidemic

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware

Wilmington, Del. (Feb. 26, 2018) — Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware (Highmark Delaware) announced four major grants to community organizations that are fighting the opioid epidemic in Delaware.

A total of $325,000 in BluePrints for the Community grants will support organizations that are on the front lines of the opioid crisis in the state. The grants from Highmark Delaware’s BluePrints for the Community Fund, a donor-advised fund at the Delaware Community Foundation, will bolster efforts throughout the state to address the many facets of the opioid epidemic from prevention to recovery.

"This is an epidemic and it is going to take all of us working together to combat addiction, save lives and help people into recovery. At Highmark we are addressing the opioid crisis through both policy and partnerships," said Tim Constantine, president, Highmark Delaware. "None of us can take on this crisis alone. We are proud to join with the state and our nonprofit partners in making a difference in Delaware’s fight against opioid addiction."

Constantine explained that as the leading health plan in Delaware, Highmark is taking a multifaceted approach to combating opioids in the community through education, advocacy, policy and grant making.

"While we are increasing and improving prevention, treatment and recovery services across state government, we know that government alone can’t reduce the toll that the opioid epidemic is taking on Delaware families," said Karyl T. Rattay, MD, MS, director, Division of Public Health, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. "To reduce that impact, it is critical that we work in concert with providers, insurers, nonprofit leaders, educators, advocates, the faith community and families. We recommend that Delawareans seek out the information and services they need at our one-stop website, www.HelpIsHereDE.com."

BluePrints for the Community grants were awarded to the following organizations to fight addiction in Delaware:

  • A $50,000 grant to atTAcK Addiction to fill an emergency need for naloxone.
    "Across the state, this critical funding will help to provide the life-saving medication, naloxone, to first responders, the Syringe Exchange Program, clinics at state service centers and transition safe living houses," said Dave Humes, board member, atTAcK addiction, a statewide grassroots advocacy organization. "In all of 2017, naloxone was administered 2,714 times by EMS and police in Delaware to 1,906 individuals. As the greatest public health crisis of the 21st century continues to grow, greater access to naloxone will save more lives. Many of those who have lost loved ones understand that reviving our fellow Delawareans provides them with a second chance at life and the opportunity to connect to treatment services. First save the life. Where there is life, there is hope."
  • $100,000 to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware as they continue their Strategic Prevention Framework — Partnership for Success (SPF-PFS) community programs around the state.
    SPF-PFS is a statewide prevention program targeting two of the nation’s top substance abuse prevention priorities: 1) underage drinking and 2) prescription drug misuse and abuse. The initiative collaborates with the University of Delaware and the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

    "Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware (BGCDE) is the leader in engaging youth in evidence-based prevention programs in the state of Delaware," states John Wellons, president and CEO, BGCDE. "With the help of our community partners and community investors like Highmark Delaware, our prevention programs have resulted in a 10 percent reduction in underage drinking in just 20 months in the Strategic Prevention Framework-Partnership for Success (SPF-PFS) funded communities, a tremendous impact in a short time. Funding like this helps sustain our efforts, allowing for our programs to reach even more young people."
  • A $75,000 grant to Gaudenzia, Inc. to support expansion of its programs in New Castle County, including a new facility in Claymont, Delaware, and outpatient services at the Claymont Community Center.
    "Our sincere thanks to Highmark Delaware for its support as we battle the biggest health crisis of our time," said Michael Harle, president/CEO, Gaudenzia Inc. "Highmark's generosity will help us more than double the impact of our comprehensive treatment efforts here in Delaware. This includes opening Claymont’s only residential rehabilitation facility, launching new outpatient treatment services, and providing sober living housing for women in recovery and their children."
  • $100,000 to the Sussex County Health Coalition to support their work with 27 community partners to develop a community-based comprehensive plan to address the opioid epidemic in Seaford, Delaware.
    "Sussex County Health Coalition is honored to be the Sussex County partner in Highmark Delaware’'s and our State's fight to end the opioid epidemic. In alignment with Highmark's vision, we have gathered over 27 organizations together in the high-need area of Seaford and will be working with those partners to plan and implement strategic drug prevention initiatives catered specifically to the needs of our Seaford community. Through this collaborative approach, SCHC and its partners are taking great strides to combat addiction," said Peggy Geisler, executive director, Sussex County Health Coalition.

About BluePrints for the Community

In 2007, Highmark Delaware established BluePrints for the Community, a grant program to help address the issues faced by Delaware's uninsured and underserved populations. The program was established as a donor-advised fund at the Delaware Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization that manages and administers charitable funds throughout Delaware. Since its inception, BluePrints has awarded 94 grants, totaling more than $12 million. BluePrints grants have provided services to more than 90,000 Delawareans.

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware serves approximately 450,000 members through the company’s health care benefits business. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware 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 www.highmark.com.

For more information, contact:

Matt Stehl
Highmark Health
302-421-3300
Matthew.stehl@highmarkhealth.org