Many people continued to struggle accessing food, employment and health care, and they relied on local resources for help. Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) responded by supporting community-based organizations to help fill those gaps.
Under the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® (HKHF) initiative — marking its 10th year — HCSC contributed more than $7.6 million to 169 partners working with children and their families on nutrition, physical activity, preventing and managing disease and supporting safe environment, reaching nearly 1.1 million people.
In Oklahoma, for example, grants in 2021 focused on behavioral health, child safety and domestic violence. Mental Health Association Oklahoma used the grant to pay for a mental health coordinator who provides trainings on suicide prevention and navigating the mental health system.
Saranam, an Albuquerque nonprofit that serves families experiencing homelessness, has received support from the HKHF program since 2019. The grants helped Saranam establish an After Exit program to provide ongoing education, case management and a way for families to stay in touch.
“No matter what comes my way, I know that my foundation is rock solid,” says Theresa Archibeque, a parent who graduated from Saranam’s housing program.
Working with Feeding America, HCSC supported 26 food banks in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas to help people experiencing food insecurity — including many for the first time because of the pandemic’s economic impact. The collaboration in 2021 targeted complex challenges that increase families’ risk of food insecurity, such as building cultural competency to more successfully meet the health and nutrition needs of communities.
Our overall connection to communities we serve was one of the reasons Points of Light recognized HCSC as one of its Civic 50 honorees in 2021. The Civic 50 award recognizes the 50 most community-minded companies that use their resources to improve the quality of life in their communities.
Giving our time in our communities is an important part of living our purpose. In 2021, more than 3,700 employees volunteered more than 94,600 hours with 2,000 organizations through the Blue CorpsSM program. HCSC donated $347,065 to 348 organizations in matching dollars for hours volunteered by employees. Employees also donated more than $600,000 through annual giving campaigns.
Yaqoota Aziz, the Volunteer of the Year in Illinois, logged more than 170 hours of service, many of them through Tutoring Chicago. “Education is really important to me and a fundamental cause of the discrepancies within the social determinants of health,” she says. "An accessible avenue to help people directly is by providing educational opportunities so they can empower themselves.”
Our clinician employees in Illinois, Montana and Texas took advantage of a program providing paid time off for up to 80 hours spent volunteering with organizations administering COVID-19 vaccines.
“I was raring to go and get shots in arms,” says Alicia Harris, a case management coordinator in Texas who volunteered at several community vaccination events in the Dallas area. “It’s going to benefit us as a society to get as many people vaccinated as possible.”
We strategically invest in the communities where members live and work to help create employment opportunities as well as health care access.
In June, HCSC opened a new 50,000-square-foot service center in Mattoon, IL, where it has had a presence 36 years. The new center has room for more than 300 employees, allowing the plan to fill 75 new positions.