At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, our priority remains what matters most: standing with our members and communities — especially during the unprecedented global pandemic.
We established the Community Collaborative Grant Fund to deploy funds across Texas to help our communities stay strong during the COVID-19 crisis.
Through that fund, we donated $1 million to the Communities Foundation of Texas, which manages 1,000 charitable funds for individuals, families and companies. It used the investment to award more than 110 grants statewide to local nonprofits.
Drive a Senior Central Texas, which transports elderly Austin-area residents for free, was one grant recipient.
Other recipients used the grants to provide first responders with personal protective equipment (PPE), provide childcare to first responders, health care workers and front-line workers, and provide services to senior adults.
BCBSTX gave an additional $1 million to the Texas Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Relief Fund, formed to keep restaurants open, preserve jobs and provide meals to first responders, health care workers and other front-line workers.
Through a unique partnership with two statewide fast food restaurants, approximately 50,000 meals were provided to first responders throughout 216 Texas counties. The Relief Fund provided another 257 independent restaurants in 35 different counties with $2,500 grants each to help keep their doors open and keep front line workers employed by enlisting them to prepare, package and safely deliver meals to local hospitals, senior living facilities, fire and police stations during the height of the public health crisis.
Another $550,000 in grants supported more than 80 community partners and nonprofits adddressing food insecurity, emergency shelter, community and domestic violence, child abuse prevention, access to care and other needs worsened by the pandemic.
The Caring Foundation of Texas, sponsored by BCBSTX, shifted course to meet needs during the pandemic with its Care Van® program, which traditionally partners with local health agencies, schools and community organizations to offer vaccinations, dental screenings and other preventive services. For instance, the Care Van in El Paso averaged 90 miles a day, visiting parks, shopping centers and other popular gathering spots to educate the public about social distancing, wearing face coverings and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Our employees also gave their own time and skills to support neighbors during this unprecedented time. BCBSTX established a program allowing employed clinicians to take time off and volunteer to care for COVID-19 patients, paying for up to 80 hours of that time. Dr. Alex Lesko, a BCBSTX medical director, used the program to volunteer early in the pandemic at a hospital in New York City.
BCBSTX also lifted cost-sharing for telemedicine visits for medically necessary and behavioral health care to ease care access during the pandemic.
$2 million given through
provided to first responders
82 community partners
supported with an additional $550,000+ investment
Every year, BCBSTX supports communities throughout the state through grants and partnerships.
In 2020, the dual challenges of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and the social justice unrest in the United States reinforced our focus on health equity and addressing social determinants of health. Nearly $1.8 million was awarded in grants to 28 community-based organizations serving all regions of the state.
It's Time Texas, an Austin-based health advocacy nonprofit, used its HKHF grant to support its Living Healthier Coach hotline. The hotline offers free professional coaching in English and Spanish to help Texans manage chronic conditions like diabetes, chronic kidney disease and COPD. Since the pandemic hit, the program added behavioral health support and online group coaching sessions to keep participants connected and engaged.
The HKHF initiative also helps efforts to address food insecurity and remove barriers to adequate nutrition. Through a partnership with Feeding America, BCBSTX supported 16 food banks that serve 151 counties in Texas — resulting in more than 700,000 meals distributed in 2020.
— Andrea Rosario, program director, Living Healthier Coach hotline
BCBSTX is also committed to standing with neighbors impacted by natural disasters. Two hurricanes made landfall in Texas in 2020. BCBSTX donated $150,000 to the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Southwest Texas Foodbank to help the nearly 500,000 residents displaced by Hurricane Laura. And when Hurricane Hanna hit, BCBSTX gave $100,000 to food banks in the affected area.
Employees also continued to volunteer and make an impact in their communities.
Timothy Robinson, the 2020 BCBSTX Volunteer of the Year, is dedicated to helping the neighborhood he grew up in. He founded his own nonprofit, Inspired to Help, and volunteers with the NAACP-Garland, Spring Valley Athletic Association and Garland Independent School District.
Many leaders and employees serve on boards and in advisory roles to local and statewide nonprofits. BCBSTX also supports the economic development efforts as an active member of more than 50 chambers of commerce.
700,000+ meals distributed though Feeding America partnership
of food donated for people impacted by Hurricane Hanna
Our initiatives to improve care access sand affordability contribute directly to our mission to do everything in our power to stand with our members and communities in sickness and in health.
BCBSTX collaborated with Sanitas USA to open 10 advanced primary care medical centers in the Dallas and Houston areas. The medical centers expand access to affordable health care options for BCBSTX members and their families, offering same-day appointments with a primary care provider, telehealth appointments, longer hours and staff who speak English and Spanish. BCBSTX members can also expect one-on-one assistance at the clinic to help choose their health plan and face-to-face customer service.
— Dr. Leslie Weisberg, market chief medical officer, BCBSTX
The Caring Van Foundation’s Care Van® program, of which BCBSTX is a lead sponsor, collaborated with school districts to offer free vaccinations in Dallas and Houston counties.
BCBSTX partners with organizations and universities to be a force multiplier on projects that will improve care access and affordability for all Texans.
For instance, Texas A&M University received a $10 million grant from BCBSTX to fund a project testing innovative ways to solve the problem of rural access to care. One solution is a telemedicine “kiosk” or health care station where Milam County residents can receive care outside of normal office hours. Another part of the project trained and equipped volunteers to perform basic emergency medical response to help neighbors quickly if ambulances are too far away.
— Shara McClure, divisional vice president of health care delivery, BCBSTX
In another effort to improve access to care, BCBSTX gave $3.5 million to the University of Houston College of Medicine to provide scholarships to at least 35 medical students, and another $1.5 million to create a pipeline program to attract students from diverse backgrounds with an interest in primary care.
BCBSTX is committed to the values of diversity, equity and inclusion, and we know the positive impact a diverse workforce can have on our customers, our communities and our company.
Our approach to diversity and inclusion engages leaders to ensure there is alignment at an executive level. The Executive D&I Council, made up of nine senior leaders from across the business, meets quarterly to promote a shared commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace.
Our hiring efforts are reflected in our employee demographics:
More than 75% of our employees are women and nearly half are people of color.
Our employee-led business resource groups (BRGs) are there to support, empower and connect employees to the business, community, and one another.
The Latinos for Advancement BRG at BCBSTX helps advance the careers and perspectives of the company’s Latino employees. In 2020 the group helped leaders develop better ways to help Hispanic members of our communities get access to health care coverage and make informed care decisions.
Latinos for Advancement is one of eight active BRGs at BCBSTX:
BCBSTX prioritizes operating in an ethical and sustainable manner for the good of our employees, members and clients.
The environment plays a large role in people’s health and well-being, with studies linking quality of environment with residents’ physical and mental health.
Our headquarters building in Richardson is LEED certified, a recognition given to buildings that are energy efficient. Additionally, 100% of our energy in 2020 came from renewable sources.
We are also committed to the highest standards of business ethics and integrity, and employees and vendors must agree to follow codes of ethics and conduct.
These efforts contributed to our parent company being named a World’s Most Ethical Company by Ethisphere for the fifth straight year in 2020.
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100% of electricity