In response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, which has ravaged Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. islands in nearly 100 years, Highmark Health today announced that the organization is contributing $50,000 to the Pittsburgh-based Brother's Brother Foundation Hurricane Maria Response efforts.
In partnership with the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (PMAHCC) and in coordination with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello and Luis Clemente and Roberto Clemente, Jr., Brother's Brother Foundation is rallying the Pittsburgh community in a coordinated response to the devastation in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. As the gift-in-kind charity -- which focuses on medical, educational and humanitarian assistance needs around the world -- announced on September 21, it is already delivering requested supplies and assistance to its partners in the affected areas. (To donate, visit Brother's Brother Foundation.)
United Concordia Dental, Highmark Health's dental business, will match up to 50% of Highmark's contribution to this effort. HMIG, the organization's stop loss business division, also contributed $10,000 to Food for the Poor, an organization based in Florida to support Hurricane Maria victims.
These contributions are in addition to the financial support Highmark Health has already provided in response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma during the past few weeks in order to help address the relentless challenges that the residents of Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean have experienced.
These earlier contributions, totaling more than $250,000, included $100,000 in contributions to the American Red Cross from Highmark Inc. and $100,000 to local foundations – Feeding Tampa Bay and the Greater Houston Community Foundation – from HMIG, to provide food, shelter, and other support to those affected by the flooding and devastation.
Highmark Inc. has matched a $20,000 contribution from HVHC, the organization's vision business that includes Davis Vision and Visionworks, to the HVHC Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund, which is administered by the San Antonio Area Foundation to provide monetary relief to those affected by both hurricanes.
"We are rallying the local Pittsburgh business community to come together to support these humanitarian assistance relief efforts already underway," commented David Holmberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of Highmark Health. "The images we are seeing on a daily basis of the destruction caused by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria are devastating. As a mission-driven organization, we are compelled to partner with these organizations to help those impacted by these disasters through life-threatening circumstances and to let them know we stand by them and are praying for them, now and through what will be a long recovery process."
In addition to its financial support, Allegheny Health Network (AHN), Highmark Health's health care delivery network, has supported its employees who were deployed to assist with the local PA DMAT-1 team which included a trauma ICU nurse, a nurse practitioner and a pre-hospital care coordinator/paramedic to Texas, who set up a mobile hospital near Galveston to triage and aid victims of Hurricane Harvey. The trauma ICU nurse was later redeployed to Florida to assist in relief efforts for Hurricane Irma.
Another AHN pre-hospital employee was deployed to Houston as part of Team Rubicon – a volunteer organization made up of primarily military veterans who specialize in disaster relief. In Houston, the team engaged in active swift-water rescue efforts. He and his team are now deployed to Morelos Statein Mexico to help with earthquake relief efforts.
Beginning August 30, Highmark Inc. implemented emergency response protocols to support Highmark insurance plan members who were affected by all three hurricanes. Members can contact or visit a participating pharmacy for off-cycle prescription refills to accommodate their health care needs. If members have problems or questions, they should contact customer service at the number indicated on their insurance card or 1-888-809-9121.
Highmark also coordinated delivery of twelve satellite phones, three broadband terminals, and solar chargers to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association of Puerto Rico, and will continue to work with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association on additional needs as they arise.
About Highmark Health
Highmark Health, a Pittsburgh, PA based enterprise that employs more than 40,000 people nationwide and serves nearly 50 million Americans in all 50 states, is the second largest integrated health care delivery and financing network in the nation based on revenue. Highmark Health is the parent company of Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, and HM Health Solutions. Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates provide health insurance to more than 5 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware as well as dental insurance, vision care and related health products through a national network of diversified businesses that include United Concordia Companies, HM Insurance Group, Davis Vision and Visionworks. Allegheny Health Network is the parent company of an integrated delivery network that includes eight hospitals, more than 2,800 affiliated physicians, ambulatory surgery centers, an employed physician organization, home and community-based health services, a research institute, a group purchasing organization, and health and wellness pavilions in western Pennsylvania. HM Health Solutions focuses on meeting the information technology platform and other business needs of the Highmark Health enterprise as well as unaffiliated health insurance plans by providing proven business processes, expert knowledge and integrated cloud-based platforms. To learn more, please visit www.highmarkhealth.org.