Giving Back to Tennessee a Continual Responsibility

Apr. 4, 2017

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In 2016, BlueCross invested nearly $10.5 million statewide

A need can develop at any time, and Tennessee’s nonprofit social service organizations, first responders, educators and others are there continually to help serve their neighbors.

Supporting those partners’ important work drives the social responsibility component of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s mission.

Calendars can be an important tool in measuring progress though, and each year BlueCross measures the impact of its investments in giving back to Tennessee communities.

In 2016, BlueCross invested nearly $10.5 million statewide.

This was done through 59 grants from its Health Foundation and 596 instances of community or statewide organization event sponsorships and support.

In addition to that, hundreds of BlueCross employees worked thousands of volunteer hours, both in company-organized Team Blue events and on their own.

BlueCross giving by focus area

Meet the people steering BlueCross community giving

BlueCross corporate responsibility efforts are now being led by Senior Vice President Roy Vaughn, following Calvin Anderson’s retirement in January.

Like Anderson before him, Vaughn will serve as Executive Director of the BlueCross Foundation and BlueCross Community Trust.

A native Tennessean, Vaughn has served on the board of the Foundation for years, and has also been active in community causes while living in Nashville and his native Chattanooga.

“BlueCross is for improving the health of all Tennesseans,” Vaughn said. “Our company has always been made up of thousands of good-hearted people, so giving back generously to our state and communities is just part of who we are.”

From left: Chelsea Johnson, Roy Vaughn, Ashley Williams and Carmen Davis

Roy Vaughn leads a team of professionals who do the good work of implementing social investments of BlueCross, the Community Relations department.

  • Chelsea Johnson, Interim Director of Community Relations and Foundations, guides the team.
  • Ashley Williams is Program Coordinator for the Foundation’s Shape the State Program, which works to provide increased access to healthy physical activity in schools and communities.
  • Community Relations Specialist Carmen Davis coordinates sponsorships and employee volunteer activities across the state.

Making an impact statewide

The work of the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation has taken on a variety of causes supporting efforts to

Organizations are invited year-round to apply for financial support from the BlueCross Foundation and BlueCross Community Trust.

Major grants and investments awarded in 2016 include:

Tennessee State Museum

$1 million to support the development of a new facility incorporating state-of-the-art interactive experiences

Memphis Open 

$250,000 for school-aged students to take field trips where they can learn about and practice tennis through play

University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC) and TN Law Enforcement Agencies, Statewide Benefit 

$250,000 to support local law enforcement agencies’ efforts to decrease overdose deaths from opioid/narcotic abuse and misuse by providing naloxone kits through an application process

East Tennessee State University (ETSU) 

$100,000 to support rural health programs promoting healthy habits across Tennessee in partnership with the ETSU Tennessee Institute of Public Health