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Newly Launched Regence Foundation to Help Transform Health Care and Influence the Nationwide Health Care Debate

Foundation will support nonprofit organizations that address health care

access and priorities in a four-state region

PORTLAND, Ore., April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The Regence Group, the largest health insurer in the Northwest/ Intermountain region, announced today the launch of its corporate foundation dedicated to transforming health care in the United States. The Regence Foundation estimates it will contribute $2.5 million in its first year and $4 million per year thereafter to organizations addressing its three funding priorities: health care access and quality, the use of technology to engage and educate health care consumers, and improvements to the way the health care system supports individuals and families during the end-of-life process.

"Philanthropy can be a powerful force for driving deep social change," said Mike Alexander, chair of The Regence Foundation's board of directors. "The Regence Foundation allows us to identify and foster creative, innovative ideas about how to fix our broken health care system."

In conjunction with its launch, the Foundation also announced five employee-nominated inaugural grants of $10,000 each to organizations working to improve health care access and quality. The inaugural grants were awarded to the Coalition of Community Health Clinics in Portland, Oregon; Fourth Street Clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah; Snake River Community Clinic in Lewiston, Idaho; Whatcom Alliance for Health Care Access in Bellingham, Washington; and Inland Northwest Health Services in Spokane, Washington.

"We are focused on three funding areas that are rich both in need and opportunity for improvement," said Alexander. "The Foundation will provide flexible, strategically placed funds to local organizations that share our vision and commitment to improving health care for the communities we serve."

As chair of The Regence Foundation board of directors, Alexander is joined by other board officers and members who provide oversight and strategic direction for the Foundation's work: Kieren Porter, president; Kerry Barnett, secretary; Steve Hooker, treasurer; Jennifer Cannaday, Vivian Chi, Mark Ganz, Dr. Jeff Robertson and John Stellmon. The Foundation's executive director is Monique Barton.

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About The Regence Foundation

The Regence Foundation is the corporate foundation of The Regence Group, the largest health insurer in the Northwest/Intermountain region and a not- for-profit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. A 501(c)3 grantmaking organization, the Foundation partners with organizations driving significant change in health care delivery and accessibility in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Starting in late 2008, the Foundation will also partner with organizations addressing end-of-life issues.

SOURCE The Regence Foundation
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