Blue Shield of California is building stronger communities through the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting nonprofits, protecting frontline healthcare workers and expanding access to care.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Blue Shield of California has been working closely with community partners and nonprofits to support at-risk communities as a result of the economic fallout statewide.  The community investments include providing protective equipment for medical personnel and expanding access to care through telehealth and COVID-19 testing sites.

Expanding access to COVID-19 testing

  • Blue Shield of California continues its philanthropic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, announcing a $500,000 contribution to the Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund. Of those funds, $300,000 is earmarked to set up drive-through testing for the virus with the help of medical experts from Brown & Toland Physicians.
  • “It’s clear that COVID-19 requires a massive response,” said Paul Markovich, president and CEO of Blue Shield of California. “We continue to ramp up our efforts to help stem the spread of this virus, and our support for Mayor Libby Schaaf’s call to action is a great way for us to make an immediate impact on our hometown of Oakland.”
  • Paul Markovich was named to co-chair Governor Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 testing task force in early April with a goal to test 25,000 people by end of May. Already are testing 30k+ a day. 

Keeping healthcare workers safe

  • Blue Shield of California provided $100,000 to support MedShare, a San Francisco Bay area nonprofit organization that provides personal protective equipment supplies, such as face masks and gowns, to nonprofit community healthcare providers.
  • “Safety-net clinics are facing shortages of medical supplies, such as masks and gowns, which are necessary to protect patients and providers from virus spread,” said Dr. Malaika Stoll, senior medical director for Blue Shield of California.  “Our work with MedShare addresses these shortages and aligns with our mission of providing care that is worthy of our family and friends.”

Use Telehealth to fight the virus

  • Blue Shield of California Expands Mental Health Services Via Telehealth. 
  • “By providing members with mental health services via phone, app or video conferencing, either with their current therapist or a new provider, we are ensuring 100 percent continuity of care while allowing practitioners and members to remain in their homes to reduce exposure and transmission of coronavirus.” Said Terry Gilliland EVP, Health Care Quality & Affordability.

Participate in rebuilding efforts

  • Blue Shield of California encourages its employees to lend their expertise to help fight COVID-19. One such employee, John Cruz, took a 3-week leave of absence to join his National Guard troop at a temporary hospital in San Mateo County
  • “It was incredibly rewarding to escort the very first patient being discharged from the facility,” Cruz said. “Everyone including medical and nursing staff, administrative, operational, and logistics personnel, to safety and security teams all lined the roadway." Cruz led the procession and had an up-close look.

Helped young people stay resilient 

  • Blue Shield of California launched a campaign with the youth resiliency non-profit DoSomething.org to elicit tips and suggestions on how to best cope with stressors associated with distance learning after COVID-19 forced school closures. 
  • “The introduction of New State of Mind couldn’t be timelier with the coronavirus outbreak causing considerable stress among youth and their families across the country,” said Kimberley Goode, senior vice president of External Affairs at Blue Shield of California. “Working with DoSomething.org, we’re extending our program to provide additional mental health resources and coping strategies to reach even more youth during this difficult time.”

Supporting community health

  • Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan, which serves Medi-Cal and Medicare beneficiaries, has given $100,000 in sponsorship funds to community health providers in Los Angeles and San Diego counties.

Click here for more resources and stories 

Blue Shield of California is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 36 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.