Press Releases

Highmark Health Options president Todd Graham joins Delaware elected officials and other funders for a ribbon cutting ceremony of the Georgetown Pallet Shelter Village, which received an initial startup investment from BluePrints for the Community in 2022

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

Highmark Delaware invests nearly $900,000 to support health

Photo: Highmark Health Options president Todd Graham joins Delaware elected officials and other funders for a ribbon cutting ceremony of the Georgetown Pallet Shelter Village, which received an initial startup investment from BluePrints for the Community in 2022 and an additional grant in 2023 to support ongoing progress. Residents at the Village are provided with physical and mental health and substance use resources, as well as support for employment, housing and other social determinants of health.

Wilmington, Del. (October 4, 2023) – Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware is pleased to announce that $898,169 in BluePrints for the Community grants have been awarded this quarter.

BluePrints for the Community is a grants program of the Highmark Delaware Fund, a donor-advised fund at the Delaware Community Foundation (DCF). Since BluePrints launched in 2007, the Highmark Delaware Fund has invested more than $37 million in initiatives to improve health outcomes across the state.

"We are firmly dedicated to meeting the healthcare needs of Delaware's communities through strategic initiatives in collaboration with outstanding organizations committed to driving positive change," expressed Nick Moriello, President of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware. "Our ongoing partnership with these organizations reflects our unwavering commitment to addressing health disparities within our state."

BluePrints aims to increase access to care and reduce health disparities throughout the state. Programs and projects typically demonstrate progress in one or both goals through one of the following focus areas: healthcare access, economic stability for families and individuals, social and community context, neighborhood and built environment, and health workforce.

"Our esteemed nonprofit collaborators have played an invaluable role in assisting Blueprints in navigating the dynamic healthcare landscape. We remain resolutely dedicated to advancing our mission of addressing the root causes of health disparities in Delaware," affirmed Rita Landgraf, Chair of the BluePrints for the Community Advisory Council.

BluePrints grants awarded in the third quarter were:

  • Nemours Foundation: Support three Community Health Workers who will focus on targeted outreach to high-need communities, with the goal of improving healthcare access, clinical outcomes, and reducing medical costs for pediatric asthma patients in Delaware.
  • The Springboard Collaborative:  Offer care coordination and access to wrap-around services focused on employment, substance use and mental health treatment, financial wellness, physical health, and ultimately achieving permanent housing while reducing reliance on emergency services.
  • First State Squash: Support Wilmington youth, with emphasis on first-generation college students, families, and Title I schools, through free squash programming that integrates physical health with academics and other enrichment opportunities. 
  • Lori's Hands, Inc.: Provide meaningful support to Newark residents with chronic conditions by engaging college student volunteers who are enrolled in health-focused studies in service learning partnerships, exposing them to the real-world impact of social determinants of health on chronic illness management.
  • Delaware Adolescent Program, Inc.: Offer standards-based education, mentoring, and support to pregnant and parenting teens to improve maternal and infant health outcomes.
  • Delaware Regional Dream Center: Utilize community outreach events for data collection that will ensure the provision of nutritious food and culturally sensitive staples, with a focus on addressing Social Determinants of Health. 
  • SL24 UnLocke the Light Foundation: Hire qualified mental health professionals to impact approximately 250 youth annually through crisis intervention support.

"Highmark Delaware's commitment to advancing health equity in Delaware is truly commendable," remarked Stuart Comstock-Gay, President and CEO of DCF. "Their partnership is instrumental in addressing the critical needs of our community in the First State."

Please see the attached PDF for details on each award.

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware serves approximately 500,000 members through the company’s health care benefits business. It is an influential company in the market generating an economic impact of $135 million and supporting more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs across the state. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware has been named a Top Workplace in Delaware and a Top Workplace USA. 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      

About BluePrints for the Community
BluePrints for the Community, the grants program of the Highmark Delaware Fund at the Delaware Community Foundation, has contributed over $35 million to the community since its inception in 2007. It was established to serve Delawareans, with emphasis on increasing access to care, reducing health disparities and addressing social determinants of health. Learn more at

About the Delaware Community Foundation
The mission of the Delaware Community Foundation is to improve the lives of the people of Delaware by empowering and growing philanthropy through knowledge and relationships, now and in the future. As a facilitator, information resource and manager of charitable funds, the DCF helps communities and philanthropists focus charitable resources for the greatest community benefit statewide. For more information, visit or call 302-571-8004.

For more information, contact

Denée Crumrine
Highmark Delaware