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Highmark BCBSWNY: $300,000 investment to honor Katherine Massey, support relief efforts


Fri, May 20th 2022 04:45 pm

In honor of BCBS retiree who dedicated 40 years to health plan, scholarship will be provided to a Buffalo Public Schools student

To support local relief efforts and honor the victims of the tragic shootings at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo last weekend, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York announced a $300,000 investment to support all those impacted, as well as the greater community.

“We are heartbroken over the lives lost at the hands of racism and violence, and pray for their families, friends and neighbors,” said Dr. Michael Edbauer, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York. “It is with especially heavy hearts that we remember Katherine ‘Kat’ Massey who, as our long-time colleague, dedicated four decades to serving our Blue Cross Blue Shield members.”

In memory of Massey’s legacy, the local health insurer is awarding a grant to We Are Women Warriors, a nonprofit organization she cofounded, dedicated to aiding inner-city residents in socioeconomic, educational, environmental and criminal justice. To also memorialize her life-long contributions to the betterment of Buffalo Public Schools, HMBCBSWNY is creating a scholarship fund for a BPS student.

“Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York remains committed to supporting our community through this tragic time, while we honor the lives and legacies of those we lost,” Edbauer added. “This is particularly close to our hearts, and to our company, because Kat Massey was one of those we lost, and she worked with us for 40 years.”

The local health plan is also:

√ Providing monetary support to key mental health providers for the Jefferson Avenue community, including BestSelf Behavioral Health, Spectrum Health and Human Services, Endeavor Health Services and Crisis Services;

√ Investing in the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund to support the most immediate and long-term needs in the community;

√ Continuing to donate and distribute essential items at many locations throughout the East Side to those most impacted, including FeedMore WNY, First Fruits Food Pantry at the Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church and the Buffalo Community Fridge.

This emergency funding for the grant and the scholarship are in addition to the $7 million a year the health insurer dedicated in 2022 to hundreds of nonprofit organizations, especially those working to improve social determinants of health in the community.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York is a trade name of Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Visit bcbswny.com.

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