CONTACT: Jenna McPhee
BOSTON — June 17, 2009 — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) announces Emmie Chatzimanika as the fourth recipient of the William C. Van Faasen Community Service Sabbatical. The William C. Van Faasen Community Service Sabbatical Program allows one employee per year a leave of absence to work for a charitable organization in the community for a period of three to six months. A project manager in BCBSMA's Sales Technology area and resident of Jamaica Plain, Emmie was selected from a pool of talented associates seeking to lend their talents to deserving community projects.
Beginning in December, Emmie will complete a six month sabbatical at Fenway High School, a pilot school of Boston Public Schools, working in the Ventures Programa program that teaches students important business, professional, and organizational skills to juniors and seniors. Emmie will primarily focus on developing the Ventures Program curriculum as well as researching and proposing a structure for a Ventures Steering Committee.
BCBSMA first established a relationship with Fenway High School in 2007 when a group of associates from the Finance Development Program, including Emmie, began working with students from the Junior Ventures program.
"For the past three years, I've been mentoring Ventures Program students at Fenway High School, said Emmie." I am proud to be this year's William C. Van Faasen Community Service Sabbatical recipient so I can continue to support the program and an organization that is providing Boston Public School Students with life changing, world class opportunities not otherwise available to them."
"We had some great applicants this year, and after a thoughtful review process the Sabbatical Committee selected Emmie for the passion, skills, and determination she demonstrated in her application," said Fredi Shonkoff, Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations at BCBSMA. "BCBSMA's sabbatical program enables our associates to give back to the community in a unique way. We are proud to offer Emmie the opportunity to continue to contribute her valuable services to Fenway High School's Ventures Program."
BCBSMA's Board of Directors created the sabbatical program in 2005 to honor the company's former CEO, Bill Van Faasen. Last year's recipient, Maureen DeFuria, completed a successful 6-month sabbatical for The Joint Coalition on Health of North Central Massachusetts working at Heywood Hospital. She worked to support efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of underserved residents.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts ( http://www.bluecrossma.com ) was founded more than 70 years ago by a group of community-minded business leaders. Today, headquartered in Boston, BCBSMA provides coverage to more than 3 million members, 2.5 million in Massachusetts. BCBSMA believes in rewarding doctors and hospitals for delivering safe and effective care, and in empowering patients to take more responsibility, become educated health care consumers and become stronger partners with their doctors. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.