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Helping our communities

The COVID-19 public health emergency has touched everyone in some way. To say these have been challenging times for the provider community is an understatement. Over the last few months, health care professionals have been overburdened with caring for COVID-19 patients, managing the needs of their patients and having to quickly pivot to delivering care through telemedicine. Everyone is learning to deal with new levels of stress and anxiety.

Now, more than ever, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) is committed to helping our provider community.

Caring for those who care for others

We’re finding innovative ways to support you as you care for our members by reallocating resources and providing additional financial support. For example, by working with local restaurants, we have provided 1,300 free meals to New Jersey’s frontline heroes, including health care professionals, police officers and fire fighters throughout northern New Jersey.

An unprecedented need

Every day, health care workers are on the frontlines in New Jersey hospitals putting their own health at risk to care for patients diagnosed with COVID-19, but they cannot stay safe without adequate personal protective equipment. To help address the serious shortage of critical personal protective equipment, we spent $2.35 million to donate 500,000 N95 respirator masks and 81,000 face shields to Governor Murphy’s coordinated response effort. We also donated $2 million to the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, established by New Jersey’s First Lady, Tammy Murphy. This fund supports the medical, social and economic needs that resulted from COVID-19.

Non-profit organizations throughout the state have seen an unprecedented number of requests for help from New Jersey residents, many of whom are among the most vulnerable. Through Horizon BCBSNJ’s philanthropic arm, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, we have funded more than $712,000 in grants to help these organizations provide basic needs, like food and housing, and health care services, as well as helping first responders with day care services. Horizon BCBSNJ is working closely with organizations like the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, New Jersey YMCA State Alliance and The Salvation Army New Jersey Division to provide the financial support needed to help them address the needs of the communities they serve.

Funding to the YMCA State Alliance helped provide emergency child care and healthy meals at 14 YMCA facilities throughout the state for front line health care professionals, first responders and essential workers. The YMCA State Alliance was also able to use the funding to provider personal protective equipment for workers caring for the children.

Funding to the Salvation Army-Southern New Jersey Feeding Fund helped support the need for emergency food distribution in South Jersey for low-income individuals, children, families and seniors.

Answering the call for help

Many of our own employees have volunteered in person or virtually, and made donations to support organizations in their communities. More than 70 Horizon BCBSNJ employees who are health care professionals answered the Governor’s call to serve on the frontline. In addition, 24 employees recently volunteered at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey to assemble and pack more than 600 boxes for residents of public housing and senior homes throughout the state.

“I wanted to do something to contribute, and to be part of the effort to help others during these difficult times,” said Rachel Cohen, one of the Horizon BCBSNJ employees who volunteered at the Community FoodBank. “Often, giving is getting.The experience was inspirational and I hope to do this again.”

Horizon BCBSNJ’s Affinity Groups, our employee resource groups, are also finding ways to help, and recently made a collective donation of $5,000 to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey to support COVID-19 relief efforts.

We are facing extraordinary challenges, but we’re in this together. Horizon BCBSNJ is here for you now and always.

Published on: August 3, 2020, 03:12 a.m. ET
Last updated on: August 3, 2020, 03:14 a.m. ET