Healthcare Workers

Blue Cross Blue Shield Companies Donate Protective Equipment

Published April 16, 2020

Protecting our heroes. For the Health of America.

Doctors, nurses and other medical staff—those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic—are running out of personal protective equipment (PPE). These masks, gowns, gloves and other items are critical in protecting healthcare workers and patients from inadvertently spreading the disease, or getting sick themselves. Without proper protection, those caring for COVID-19 patients may inadvertently spread the disease, or get sick themselves. That could mean an even greater shortage of healthcare professionals to oversee the growing number of patients afflicted by COVID-19 across the U.S.

Blue Cross Blue Shield companies are working to restock PPE supplies for the healthcare professionals caring for their members and communities every day. Efforts include making donations to companies distributing PPE, contributing to first responder relief funds and launching volunteer efforts to sew CDC-approved masks.

Securing PPE supplies

  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey invested $2.2 million to bring 467,000 N95 respirator masks and 81,000 face shields to New Jersey healthcare workers.
  • Blue Shield of California has donated $100,000 to the non-profit MedShare, which distributes PPE and other equipment to health clinics caring for some of the most underserved populations. These clinics include those serving shelters for homeless women and children.
  • Keeping first responders safe with essential medical equipment like facemasks and gloves is critical for supporting ongoing COVID-19 testing. Blue Shield of California has provided $500,000 to support the Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund, which helps provide PPE to first responders, among other community initiatives.

Mobilizing volunteers

  • To combat the shortages of critical PPE, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota launched a statewide campaign for skilled volunteers—including its own employees—to sew CDC-approved face masks for donation to local healthcare facilities.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 35 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.