WILMINGTON, Del. (August 31, 2020) – Highmark Inc. is helping schools navigate the new, uncharted school year by donating Back-to-School Toolkits containing personal protective equipment and resources to school districts across Delaware and Pennsylvania.
“With the 2020-21 academic year presenting unprecedented challenges, we are stepping up our efforts to help schools create a positive and safe learning environment—whether virtually, in-person or a mix of both,” shared Deb Rice-Johnson, president of Highmark Inc. “Schools play a vital role in our communities as they prepare today’s students to become the leaders of tomorrow. At Highmark, we want to show our unwavering support and gratitude for all that they do, especially under the current, ever-changing circumstances.”
School districts across Delaware will receive adjustable face coverings to fit a wide age range of students, face shields for teachers and staff members, disinfectant hand wipes, large one-gallon pumps of hand sanitizer, signage containing best practices, and resource guides to assist with the transition to the new school year, courtesy of Highmark. Signage and resource guides are also available to the general public at no charge on the Highmark Employer Back-to-School Toolkit website. School districts eligible to request kits will be contacted and given the option to schedule when and where they receive the kits to align with their individual reopening plans.
“Capital School District is grateful for Highmark Delaware’s support and their provision of PPE supplies for our students and staff. As we enter into this school year in a completely new way, it is great to know we have the support of our community and business partners,” said Dr. Sylvia Henderson, Superintendent of Capital School District.
In addition to supplies and resources, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware will host a Back-to-School webinar in collaboration with clinical leaders from ChristianaCare on September 2, to provide an update on COVID-19 from infectious disease experts and address mental wellness challenges educators may face as Delaware schools start the year virtually. Anyone interested in tuning in can register here: https://highmarkhealth.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_im4zvtDTR92bdmpw2V8UlA.
“We realize that many challenges will present themselves as our educators and students head back to school in this unprecedented situation,” said Adam Knox, Regional Vice President, Head of Commercial Business for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware. “Highmark Delaware is committed to its members and the community and hope that these PPE kits, along with other resources we are making available, will help ensure everyone’s safety and health.”
The back-to-school initiatives are part of Highmark’s larger efforts to help the communities that it serves during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. In early June, Highmark mobilized local small and diverse businesses to design, manufacture and donate over 1.3 million cloth face coverings to Highmark members across its footprint. Highmark also donated over 40,000 cloth face coverings to EMS professionals across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware during National EMS Week in May.
Additionally, Highmark has taken many proactive measures through coverage expansions, increased options to access to care, support for its communities, providers and customers, and by providing resources to access help and information to ensure that our members, employees and communities are safe and can continue to receive care. Highmark expanded benefits to cover telehealth and inpatient, in-network COVID-19 treatment with no cost-sharing until September 30.
To support those affected by the pandemic, Highmark dedicated a web site (highmarkanswers.com) to answer questions and provide insight to the community and launched a stream of podcasts to assist in understanding issues surrounding COVID-19. Through its provider partners such as AHN in western Pennsylvania and health systems in other communities, Highmark has actively supported COVID-19 testing, with a focus on underserved communities through mobile units. Highmark also committed $2 million in grants to food insecurity, safety net providers and COVID-19 relief organizations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware.
Photo caption: Adam Knox, Regional Vice President, Head of Commercial Business for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware (left) joins Dr. Sylvia Henderson, Superintendent of Capital School District, to present the Capital School District with a Highmark Back to School PPE kit.
About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware serves approximately 441,000 members through the company’s health care benefits business. It is an influential company in the market generating an economic impact of $135 million and supporting more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs across the state. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmarkbcbsde.com.