Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Hawaii (BCBS Hawaii) and the Hawaii Medical Service Association Foundation (HMSA Foundation) supported relief efforts for the Hawaii community after COVID-19 hit the islands, with a focus on food security.
BCBS Hawaii supported four food banks statewide with monetary donations and offered paid time to volunteers in the community during work hours.
Additionally, the state health insurer:
- Enabled employees to volunteer to make personal protective equipment for community partners and colleagues, including face shields and masks for colleagues in the office.
- Redeployed some Customer Relations representatives to support the Hawaii State Department of Health call center.
- Created a Community Resource Directory to help members find community resources including childcare, financial, food, housing assistance, volunteer opportunities and more.
- Supported the Hawaii COVID-19 Public Health Recovery Task Force, a coalition of leaders and organizations from the state’s government, business, healthcare and non-profit sectors, with the guidance of its leadership team. The purpose of the task force was to generate a strategic, science-based approach to help measure and manage a phase return to a “new normal,” which focused on screening, testing, contract tracing and surveillance, and quarantine. The Task Force successfully developed a plan that was later implemented by the State.
The HMSA Foundation is helping with food and meal distributions and fundraisers at community partners in Waianae, Kaneohe and Kalihi. The foundation has also connected its hui (cohort) partners online to share resources, find out what is happening at the community level, what resources they need, and what resources they can offer to each other. They remain in contact throughout this unprecedented epidemic to understand ways to creatively support and engage with one other.
The HMSA Foundation has used its Community Fund to support the emergency needs of community organizations serving those in need.
Learn more about BCBS Hawaii and its relief efforts here.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Hawaii is a licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independently, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.