Press Releases

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Highmark Blue Shield supports future generations of frontline nurses at Messiah University

$5,000 grant will be used for technology upgrades and supplies in the department-sponsored Wellness Center

CAMP HILL, Pa. (March 10, 2021) – Highmark Blue Shield is proudly showing its support for the future generation of frontline healthcare professionals through a Frontline Worker Grant to support current nursing students at Messiah University.

Through a $5,000 grant to the Messiah University Department of Nursing, the department-sponsored “Wellness Centers” will be able to upgrade technology to equip the facility with several new computer devices, a WiFi-accessible printer and copier, and basic first aid supplies.

The Wellness Centers are community health centers located in HUD-subsidized housing sites, offering care for vulnerable populations and education experiences as clinical sites for students.

“The real-world opportunities that the students at Messiah University Department of Nursing have through the Wellness Centers is truly invaluable,” shared Kathleen McKenzie, Vice President of Community Affairs for Highmark Inc. “Not only are nursing students gaining the opportunity to work directly with patients, but they are providing care and services to those in the community who may not have the opportunity to receive it elsewhere. Highmark is honored to make a difference in the future of these future frontline caregivers while also supporting a program that does so much for the community.”

Not only do the Wellness Centers have an emphasis on health promotion, disease and injury prevention, risk reduction, and chronic illness monitoring, but they also prioritize social determinants of health as part of its educational aspect. With the new devices, Messiah students and staff will help residents apply for rent rebates. Housing stability is just one of many social determinants of health that can impact up to 80% of a person’s health outcomes.

The grant to Messiah is the third 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. 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 www.highmark.com.

For more information, contact:

Emily Beatty
Highmark Health
Emily.beatty@highmarkhealth.org