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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Associates Pledge More Than $1.3 Million to Community Organizations
Date:12/8/2008

ATLANTA, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) today announced that its associates have pledged more than $1.3 million to support more than 996 not-for-profit organizations in 2009 as part of the company's annual Associate Giving Campaign. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation will match 50 percent of associate pledges, increasing the total to more than $2 million.

"Every day our associates work to bring value to the health care system and our health plans' members. The generosity shown during this year's associate giving campaign is truly remarkable," said Monye Connolly, president and general manager, BCBSGa. "In these challenging economic times, our associates continued to exceed all expectations and surpassed our company-wide goal."

Nationwide, associates of BCBSGa's parent company pledged more than $16 million to nearly 10,000 charities.

During 2008, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, its associates and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation provided more than $3.6 million in grants and sponsorships to agencies across the state. Recipients include the March of Dimes (giving support to the South Health District/Lowndes County Board of Health's Baby LUV program), the Fragile Kids Foundation (supporting medically fragile children in need of equipment not covered by insurance and Medicaid programs), the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (sponsored Atlanta and Columbus walks in conjunction with associate fundraising), HealthMPowers (provides comprehensive health and nutrition educational programs to schools throughout Georgia), the CoverMe Foundation (providing the uninsured greater access to enrollment opportunities in Federal and State sponsored free and low-cost healthcare coverage programs), the Tour de Georgia (stressing the importance of exercise and movement in the battle against obesity), and many others.

"BCBSGa's community agencies serve as a vital public safety net," noted Connolly. "In difficult economic times like this, the role of these agencies is more important than ever before."

"Through the efforts of our foundations across the country we can help address local health concerns," said Caroline 'Caz' Matthews, president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation. "But we go beyond simply providing dollars by giving of our time through our national Community Service Day, where associates volunteer in our communities to have an even greater impact. In the end, our focus allows us to have a measurable and sustainable impact on critical health care needs in the communities we serve."

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association(R). The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia is available at www.bcbsga.com.

About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation

Through charitable grant making, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia's inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to reduce the number of uninsured as well as organizations and nonprofit charities that promote the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company's annual associate giving campaign and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates' campaign pledges. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. To learn more about the Foundation please visit www.wellpointfoundation.org.


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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia
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