The Highmark Bright Blue Futures charitable giving and community involvement program's goal is to ensure healthier, brighter, stronger futures for all. Our focus is improving equitable access to care, quality of life and economic resilience in the communities we serve.
We aspire to improve outcomes in two critical areas Community Health and Community and Economic Resilience.
We believe our working in partnership with communities and providers within our footprint is critical to achieving lasting positive outcomes. We proudly serve nearly seven million members through our subsidiaries and affiliates enterprise-wide. We value being an active, innovative community partner creating and maintaining meaningful partnerships withing our service area. Our commitment goes beyond simply providing grants but includes leveraging our team members' expertise and passion through volunteerism and convening community groups in our footprint to drive efficiency and innovation.
Increasing access to care and resources to improve health outcomes aligned with the enterprise Living Health strategy; reducing health inequities and disparities among targeted populations. Living Health creates a better system for patients and clinicians through innovative solutions and partnerships while strengthening community-based care, improving health outcomes and lowering costs.
Advancing equitable access to quality healthcare.
Highmark has funded COVID-19 testing and vaccinations in underserved communities across Pennsylvania in partnership with Latino Connection and its CATE (Community Accessible Testing and Education) mobile unit. It has provided over 120 vaccination clinics across 66 counties, 100 additional educational events, COVID-19 testing, PPE distribution and bilingual COVID-19 vaccination educational literature.
Economic instability for families and individuals
Reducing unemployment, food insecurity and housing instability.
In 2021, the Center for Inclusion Health’s Healthy Food Center team led the Go program. This summer program supported 4,240 individuals in high-need communities by providing healthy snack bags and personal protective equipment such as cloth face masks and hand sanitizers. This initiative took place at West Penn, Allegheny General and Jefferson Hospital.
Social and community context
Connecting people to social and community resources that will improve their health and wellbeing.
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank to launch the School Pantry Program in Strong Vincent Middle School, Highmark’s community school. In the Strong Vincent Supermarket, food staples and other grocery items are available at no cost. Students and their families can obtain resources they need to learn and grow so that they don't need to worry about where their next meal is coming from. In 2021, 93 students were enrolled, with an average of 35-40 shoppers each week.
Increasing access to educational opportunities.
Highmark partnered with the Neighborhood Learning Alliance, West Penn Hospital and the Community College of Allegheny County to support High School 2 Health Careers, a healthcare diversity program. Starting the summer before 11th grade and extending through completion of the registered nursing program and the first two years of employment, each year this program provides around 20 students of color with college classes, healthcare experience, test preparation, mentoring, scholarships and other experiences.
Neighborhood and built environment
Improving neighborhoods and environments to promote health and safety.
Highmark of Western New York supports free outdoor fitness classes at Canalside in the summer. Classes are open to the public and available to all ages and fitness levels.
Improving economic well-being and quality of life as part of our commitment to and investment in national, regional and local communities.
Diversity, equity & inclusion
Moving diversity, equity and inclusion forward in a transformative way.
Juneteenth is an annual celebration of freedom from slavery. Highmark supported Juneteenth events and activities throughout our footprint in 2022, including events in Bethlehem, Harrisburg, York, Pittsburgh, Johnstown and Central Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Schenectady, New York. Activities included parades, concerts, healthy activities, poetry readings, virtual webinars, festivals, restaurant crawls and more.
Providing a network of direct services to people in need.
Highmark supports the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh Celebrating Survivor’s event. The Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh exists to end domestic violence and create safe spaces for help, healing and hope. The Celebrating Survivors event brings the community together to celebrate survivors of domestic violence and remember those who have lost their lives to domestic violence.
Preparing every student and jobseeker to succeed.
Highmark West Virginia has supported the West Virginia Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year program for more than 20 years. The program identifies, recognizes and promotes representatives of excellent teaching in elementary and secondary classrooms. In 2021, Highmark West Virginia presented the award of the WV Teacher of the Year to a fifth-grade teacher from Tennerton Elementary School.
Business & economic development
Improving the standards of living in our communities.
Over the past six years, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield has supported Sisters of St. Joseph, through the Neighborhood Partnership Program. In addition to creating affordable housing, the Little Italy neighborhood image has been improved by replacing blighted property with green space for activities such as community gardens, greenhouse development, farmers markets and urban art installations.
Arts & culture
Fostering well-being, bringing joy, and building bridges between cultures.
Pittsburgh’s cultural arts organizations provide more than just an occasional museum trip or concert. They’re a community pillar that sustains livelihoods, builds human connections and supports Pittsburgh’s economy. Just like access to care, access to vibrant culture makes life better. That’s why Highmark continues to invest in what makes our communities so remarkable — supporting more than 40 regional cultural organizations. This includes assisting the August Wilson African American Cultural Center as it realizes its mission, while making difficult health and safety decisions; partnering with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust in shining a light on the lived experiences of our neighbors; helping the Carnegie Museums develop new ways of welcoming visitors and educating people, in person and virtually; and supporting cultural events — from Highmark First Night and Light Up Night to the Highmark Blues and Heritage Festival.