Empire BlueCross BlueShield Associates Commit Over $1 Million to Community Organizations in 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008 General News
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NEW YORK, Dec. 5 Empire BlueCross BlueShield todayannounced that its employees committed more than $1 million to not-for-profitorganizations through its 2008 Associate Giving Campaign. This amount is theresult of personal giving by associates with a 50 percent match from theWellPoint Foundation, Inc.

"In this difficult economy, our community and health servicesorganizations are especially in need of help," said Mark Wagar, president andCEO of Empire BlueCross BlueShield. "We surpassed all our expectations forthis year's campaign and the generosity of our associates highlights acompassion and commitment to supporting the communities where they live andwork."

In addition to the support provided directly by its associates, in 2008Empire BlueCross BlueShield reached out to many diverse communityorganizations to bring health improvement messages to local boroughs andcommunities in a more effective manner. This included working with localschools on health, wellness and exercise programs, community health centersfamiliar with populations at greater risk, and partnering with variousestablished city and state initiatives already underway.

"The success of this campaign complements other efforts like our 'MightyMilers' program with the New York Road Runners Foundation (NYRRF), a programthat partners with local schools to teach children the value of incorporatingphysical activity into their everyday routine as part of a healthy lifestyle,"added Wagar. "It's another example of our commitment to ensuring underservedpopulations receive the attention and education they need to attain goodhealth and well being."

Nationwide, associates of WellPoint, Empire's parent company, pledged morethan $16 million to nearly 10,000 charities. The 50 percent match from theWellPoint Foundation will raise that total to more than $24 million. TheWellPoint Foundation, together with its state subsidiary foundations, is oneof the nation's largest corporate foundations with net assets of nearly $200million.

"Through the efforts of our foundations across the country we can helpaddress local health concerns," said Caroline 'Caz' Matthews, president of theWellPoint Foundation. "But we go beyond simply providing dollars by giving ofour time through our national Community Service Day, where associatesvolunteer in our communities to have an even greater impact. In the end, ourfocus allows us to have a measurable and sustainable impact on critical healthcare needs in the communities we serve."

More information about Empire BlueCross BlueShield can be found atwww.empireblue.com .

About Empire BlueCross BlueShield

Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) is the trade name of EmpireHealthChoice Assurance, Inc., and Empire BlueCross BlueShield HMO is the tradename of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc., independent licensees of the BlueCrossBlueShield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern andsoutheastern counties of New York State. Empire BlueCross BlueShield, thelargest health insurer in New York State based on PPO and HMO membership, is asubsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. Additional information about Empire is availableat www.empireblue.com .

SOURCE Empire BlueCross BlueShield

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