(September 30, 2020 by Press Release) – Highmark Delaware is a member of Philanthropy Delaware As part of its ongoing initiative to provide over 1.3 million cloth face masks across its footprint, Highmark Inc. is donating over 100,000 masks to community organizations in Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The initiative is yet another way Highmark is providing support to its members and the community amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Across the three states, 145 community organizations will receive face masks, courtesy of Highmark. The cumulative donation includes over 90,000 adult-size face masks and 4,300 youth-size face masks. More than 11,500 face coverings will be given throughout Delaware to various nonprofit partners, who are also helping to distribute them to communities in need.
“Highmark remains committed to keeping as many people as possible safe and healthy during the ongoing pandemic,” said Nick Moriello, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware. “Our nonprofits continue to provide important services and resources, and we want to make sure they are able to do so safely, as well as ensure folks throughout our state are equipped with face coverings.”
This community contribution follows Highmark Delaware’s announcement of committing $1 million to addressing social determinants of health through its grant fund, BluePrints for the Community. Highmark Delaware has also donated face coverings to EMS professionals and PPE kits to many schools throughout the state.
West End Neighborhood House received a donation of the face coverings, a nonprofit that helps individuals achieve self-sufficiency, reach and maintain their maximum potential, and live responsibly and harmoniously in a healthy community and complex world.
"The ongoing need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to combat the spread of COVID-19 continues to create additional costs for our organization; but thanks to Highmark's donation of 1,000 masks, we now have the 'breathing room' to provide additional protection for West End's staff, volunteers and customers,” said Paul Calistro, executive director of West End Neighborhood House. “Thanks to Highmark, West End, and other nonprofits, will be able to remain open and serve our community more safely.”
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Highmark Health Plan has taken many proactive measures through coverage expansions, increased options to access to care, support for its communities, providers and customers, and by providing resources to access help and information to ensure that our members, employees and communities are safe and can continue to receive care. Initially, Highmark expanded benefits to cover telehealth and inpatient, in-network COVID-19 treatment with no cost-sharing and has now extended that until December 31.
To support those affected by the pandemic, Highmark dedicated a web site (highmarkanswers.com) to answer questions and provide insight to the community and launched a stream of podcasts to assist in understanding issues surrounding COVID-19. Through its provider partners such as AHN in western Pennsylvania and health systems in other communities, Highmark has actively supported COVID-19 testing, with a focus on underserved communities through mobile units. Highmark also committed $2 million in grants to food insecurity, safety net providers and COVID-19 relief organizations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware.