Press Releases

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Highmark makes $2 million contribution to support critical community organizations during COVID-19 pandemic

PITTSBURGH (April 2, 2020) — Highmark Inc. today announced $2 million in grants to organizations focused on helping people in need throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Our company's history is based on helping communities in times of need. And there's no greater time than now," said David Holmberg, president and CEO of Highmark Health. "The coronavirus has presented our entire nation with issues never faced by any of us in our lifetimes. Our contributions are designed to tap into organizations that are making a difference and help to sustain their work during these unprecedented circumstances."

Highmark's targeted contributions will focus on organizations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia addressing food insecurity through food banks with $575,000 in grants, $525,000 to human service agencies through COVID-19 relief funds, $700,000 to strengthen safety net providers through Highmark Foundation support and $200,000 to Delaware COVID-19 relief efforts.

"We are drawing from a variety of grant making streams at Highmark to have a unified and more impactful approach to help address critically-pressing, community-focused pandemic needs," said Dan Onorato, executive vice president of Corporate Affairs at Highmark Health. "Now more than ever, we can work to align funding in the most needed areas."

According to Onorato, the $2 million in funding comes from Highmark's corporate community giving programs and the Highmark Foundation.

To support food insecurity through food banks in the Pennsylvania and West Virginia, the following grants recipients have been identified.

In Pennsylvania, grants are being made to:

  • The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank
  • Greater Berks Helping Harvest Fresh Food Bank
  • Westmoreland County Food Bank
  • Lehigh Valley/NEPA Second Harvest Food Bank
  • Northwest Second Harvest Food Bank
  • Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
  • Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank
  • Mercer Community Food Warehouse
  • Allegheny Health Network Healthy Food Centers

In West Virginia, grants are being made to:

  • Mountaineer Food Bank
  • Facing Hunger Food Bank
  • McDowell's Five Loaves and Two Fishes Food Bank

Human services organizations have also been chosen to receive support in Pennsylvania, including:

  • COVID-19 Community Response Fund of the Greater Lehigh Valley
  • The Monroe County Crisis Response Fund of the Pocono Mountains United Way
  • Luzerne County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund of The Luzerne Foundation
  • The COVID 19 Community Response Fund of The Fund for Enhancing Communities
  • The United Way of the Capital Region COVID-19 Basic Needs Fund
  • Emergency Action Fund — Pittsburgh Foundation
  • Emergency Basic Needs Fund (United Way of SWPA)
  • The United Way of the Laurel Highlands
  • COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund — Erie Community Foundation

Also in Pennsylvania, grants from the Highmark Foundation will support 25 community-based health care organizations, focused on strengthening their capacity to serve those who are uninsured and underserved:

  • Harrisburg Mission of Mercy
  • McKeesport Ninth Street Clinic
  • Birmingham Free Clinic
  • Catholic Charities
  • Free Clinic at Braddock
  • Operation Safety Net
  • Sheep Inc. Health Care Center
  • Western Berks Free Medical Clinic
  • Jean B. Purvis Community Health Center
  • Highlands Health
  • Centre Volunteers in Medicine
  • Free Medical Clinic of DuBois
  • Metro Community Health Center
  • Mon Valley Community Health Services Inc.
  • Columbia County Volunteers in Medicine
  • Meadville Area Free Clinic
  • Beacon Clinic for Health & Hope
  • Corry Area Free Clinic
  • The Edward Leahy Jr. Center Clinic for the Uninsured
  • Hope Within Ministries
  • Lebanon Valley Volunteers in Medicine
  • Wilkes-Barre Volunteers in Medicine
  • Katallasso Family Health Center
  • Sharon Community Health Center, Inc.

In West Virginia, grants from the Highmark Foundation will support 10 community-focused health care organizations with funding to meet the needs of uninsured and underinsured individuals. Those organizations include:

  • Beckley Health Right
  • Ebenezier Medical Outreach Center
  • Health Access Inc.
  • Mercer Charitable Clinic
  • Milan Puskar
  • West Virginia Health Right
  • Wheeling Health Right
  • Hygeia Facilities Foundation Inc.
  • Mountaineer Community Health Center
  • Rural Health Access Corp. (Coalfield)

In Delaware, $200,000 will go to strategic COVID-19 emergency response initiatives in the state.

"We are routinely talking to community leaders, as well as state and local officials in the communities, we serve. We will continue to assess community needs as the pandemic evolves," said Onorato.

About Highmark 

One of America's leading health insurance organizations and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Highmark Inc. (the Health Plan) and its affiliated health plans (collectively, the Health Plans) work passionately to deliver high-quality, accessible, understandable, and affordable experiences, outcomes, and solutions to customers. As the fourth-largest overall Blue Cross Blue Shield-affiliated organization, Highmark Inc. and its Blue-branded affiliates proudly cover the insurance needs of 4.5 million members in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance, vision care and other related businesses. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

For more information, contact:
Aaron Billger
Highmark Health
412-544-7826
aaron.billger@highmarkhealth.org