You recently announced that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is evolving your Corporate Citizenship strategy to be focused on Healthy Living. Why is Blue Cross making this shift?
The evolution of our Corporate Citizenship strategy lets us build on the work we have done in partnership with many meaningful nonprofit organizations across Massachusetts over the past few years and enables us to more strategically align our efforts in the community with our overall business goals as a healthcare provider. Focusing on Healthy Living—healthy eating, active lifestyles and positive environments—allows our work in the community to help us as a business to focus on building consumer loyalty and increasing employee engagement and satisfaction, all the while supporting healthier communities across the Commonwealth.
Healthy Living means something different to each of us. How are you defining Healthy Living at Blue Cross?
Healthy Living at Blue Cross is focused healthy eating, active lifestyles and positive environments. We define each of these areas more specifically as maintaining a balanced, nutritious diet; conducting and tracking regular physical activity and exercise; and living, working and playing in positive environments. We believe that by addressing access and education—along with the inter-connectedness of these areas—that we can influence behavior change.
The community partners that we work with may shift through proactive outreach on our part, however we will also seek opportunities to continue to support existing non-profits through a more strategic Healthy Living lens. We will do everything we can to help our partners through this evolution by providing each organization proper notice so that they can plan for any adjustments to their funding strategies. That said, we have always been a strong believer and supporter of organizations having diversified funding approaches and have worked to encourage and support partner organizations to always have this in mind as they plan their funding efforts.
Our commitment to the community is an important part of who we are as a company. Through this strategic evolution, we will rededicate ourselves to ensuring that our resources and priorities reflect the greatest needs of the community and the most effective possibilities for progress in the Healthy Living space, particularly as it pertains to nutrition, physical activity and positive environments. Over the past decade, Blue Cross has invested over $100 million across Massachusetts and this commitment is unwavering. Going forward, we will continue to leverage our Corporate Citizenship efforts to drive societal and business impact through our three levers of change: Civic Engagement, Community Investment, and Environmental Sustainability, all of which are at the core of our Corporate Citizenship work.
As we rollout this new focus on Healthy Living the community should see more strategic partnerships focused on innovation. We believe in supporting, testing and scaling fresh, new ideas and we know that local communities and experts can be the genesis of these ideas and innovation. We believe that—by addressing the inter-connectedness of healthy eating, active lifestyles and positive environments—we can influence behavior change, and we hope to create signature initiatives to support this idea. And finally, we realize that it is critical to bring diverse stakeholders together to share and learn from one another, so we plan to continue to convene leaders to encourage collaboration and advance knowledge-sharing.