Blue Cross, Employees Give Back Following Hurricane Devastation

Barbara Schmitt

| 3 min read

As catastrophic weather decimated several areas of the nation this year — especially Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and its employees were quick to respond to the resulting critical need. Together, the corporation and its workforce have donated more than $100,000 to relief efforts.
““Employees have been amazingly generous in the donations they’ve made through the dedicated portal set up with the Red Cross,” said Suzanne Miller Allen, director Community Responsibility. “We established the portal right after Harvey hit Texas, but after the other storms followed so quickly, we left it active to give people a trusted option for making donations to all affected areas.”
Blue Cross’ Community Responsibility department led efforts to facilitate and direct donations to the weather-ravaged regions. Corporate contributions on behalf of the organization were made to each area affected by the storms. To date, Blue Cross has given $30,000 in hurricane relief. Blue Cross employees have been just as responsive, helping raise the total contribution. A dedicated portal set-up by the American Red Cross specifically for Blue Cross employees has received over $64,500 in donations to date. In addition to the corporate contributions made, and employee giving, Blue Cross also donated a large supply of bottled water to impacted areas. Community Responsibility worked with partners Dean Transportation in Lansing and Triple S Management in Puerto Rico, along with several other organizations to donate and transport 1,412 surplus cases of bottled water to Texas and Puerto Rico. “Blue Cross employees have really stepped up to the plate when it comes to helping the American Red Cross give assistance to those who’ve suffered from these hurricanes,” said Cindy Dion, vice president, Business Efficiency and Continuous Improvement, and American Red Cross of Southeastern Michigan board member. “Their donations will help us continue to give critical supplies and equipment as needed.” Triple S Management is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and a leading company in the managed care industry in Puerto Rico. Together with the Association and other Blue plans such as BCBSM, Triple S is working to channel relief dollars and in-kind donations to relief workers continuing the recovery efforts. In addition to Triple S, Blue Cross’ own subsidiary company, Tessellate, also has employees who live and work in Puerto Rico that were directly affected by the storm. “Blue Cross donated 992 cases of water, or about 23,808 bottles to the Puerto Rican hurricane relief effort this month,” said Mary Smith (in above photo with facilities team members), senior vice president BCBSM and president, Tessellate. “Clean water is one of the top priorities of officials still conducting rescue and medical efforts. As a sister company to both Triple S and Tessellate, we’re so happy to be able to offer the water we had available to further assist with this immediate need.”
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association