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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Demonstrates Community Commitment with Fifth William C. Van Faasen Community Service Sabbatical

CONTACT: Jenna McPhee
(617) 246-7412
jenna.mcphee@bcbsma.com

2010 Sabbatical Recipient to Join the Center for Effective Philanthropy

BOSTON — May 5, 2010 — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), a local, not-for-profit health plan, today announced the 2010 recipient of its annual William C. Van Faasen Community Service Sabbatical. BCBSMA's sabbatical program gives one employee per year an opportunity to take a paid leave-of-absence to work for a charitable organization. This year's winner, Charles Selk, a project analyst with BCBSMA, will complete a six-month sabbatical at The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP), a Cambridge-based non-profit organization that provides data and insight to local and national philanthropic funders so they can better define, assess, and improve their effectiveness and impact.

Selk, a Cambridge resident, and Master of Business Administration (MBA) student at Northeastern University, will serve as a technical consultant and developer at CEP beginning this summer. He'll work to streamline processes and transform CEP's data entry and migration strategy to make the organization more efficient. View a video of BCBSMA surprising Selk with the 2010 sabbatical win.

"All organizations need data to understand how they are doing, but for foundations, the right data is hard to come by," said CEP President Phil Buchanan. "CEP's data fills this void, and Charles' work will be instrumental in helping us become more efficient so we can improve the effectiveness and impact of the organizations we serve."

BCBSMA's sabbatical program, in its fifth year, is part of BCBSMA's commitment as a corporate citizen to support the communities our members call home. It was created in 2005, by BCBSMA's Board of Directors to honor Bill Van Faasen, former CEO who is currently serving as Interim CEO.

"BCBSMA's sabbatical program allows our associates to give back to the community in a very personal way," said Fredi Shonkoff, Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations. "After a thoughtful review process of several deserving candidates, the Sabbatical Committee selected Charles Selk for the unique capabilities he will bring to the Center for Effective Philanthropy."

Selk's desire to become more involved in community service grew out of his work with BlueCrew, BCBSMA's volunteer program that encourages associates to give back to their communities. Last year, BlueCrew participants donated over 14,000 hours of volunteer service to help meet critical community needs across the Commonwealth.

Last year's sabbatical recipient, Emmie Chatzimanika, was also an involved member of BlueCrew. She is currently completing a six-month sabbatical with Fenway High School's Junior Ventures program that teaches important business, professional, and organizational skills to juniors and seniors. Chatzimanika has been working with great enthusiasm on the expansion of the Program, creating and managing an Advisory Committee to ensure the development of a detailed business plan and a roadmap for growth. She completes her sabbatical this June.

The sabbatical program is one of many ways BCBSMA supports the community. Through widespread community service, financial contributions and meaningful strategic partnerships, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts remains a dedicated corporate citizen committed to promoting the health of its members and strengthening the communities they call home.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (www.bluecrossma.com) was founded 73 years ago by a group of community-minded business leaders. Today, headquartered in Boston, BCBSMA provides coverage to nearly 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.

 

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