Press Releases

Thursday, November 09, 2023

Highmark BCBS celebrates WNYHeroes, announces veteran service dog "Bluey"

Buffalo, N.Y. (November 9, 2023) — In recognition of Veteran’s Day, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Buffalo Bills will celebrate the WNYHeroes, Inc. as the Highmark Community Hero at the November 13 Salute to Service game versus the Denver Broncos.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield has been a long supporter of WNYHeroes, and most recently sponsored a service dog through WNYHeroes Pawsitive for Heroes Program. “Bluey”, a Saint Bernard and Mastiff mix, is the sister of Sabres team dog “Blue” and will support a local Veteran once it completes its training.

Pawsitive for Heroes is just one of several programs led by WNYHeroes, a local Veterans’ assistance organization. The organization was inspired and co-founded by Chris Kreiger, following a decade of service with the United States military. During his service in Iraq, Kreiger suffered multiple injuries, including significant hearing loss in both ears and a traumatic brain injury (TBI). During Kreiger’s recovery, he and his family experienced the additional heartbreak of losing their home as a result the financial difficulties that his wartime injuries brought upon them.

Today, through WNYHeroes, Inc., Kreiger works tirelessly to provide the support, assistance, and resources — financial, physical, and emotional — that Veterans need following service to our country. The organization’s goal, as well as Kreiger’s own, is to ease the transition from combat to civilian life and eliminate the hardships and complications that too many veterans continue to experience in America today.

In addition to recognizing WNYHeroes during Monday night’s Salute to Service- themed Buffalo Bills game, the health plan also awarded a $2,500 donation to the organization to continue its efforts to support local Veterans. 

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York is a trade name of Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Since 1936, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York has helped millions of people lead healthier lives. Blue Cross Blue Shield offers a full range of insured, self-insured, and government programs and services covering businesses, families, and individuals, as well as dental and vision plans and stop-loss coverage. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield employs more than 1,500 people and serves as a key economic driver in the region. As a community-based, not-for-profit health plan, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield contributes significantly to organizations that strengthen and enrich the health of the community. For up-to-date news, facts, and information about the company, leadership, and industry, please visit or follow us on Twitter. 

For more information, contact

Amber M. Hartmann

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