Teaming Up for a Healthier RI

2015 Community Investment Report

To improve the health of all Rhode Islanders, it takes more than one organization—it takes a team. That’s why Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is proud to partner with local nonprofits that are doing important work for individuals and families in our state.

Through our BlueAngel Community Investment Program, we support nonprofits and programs that address the most critical health issues facing Rhode Islanders, from childhood obesity to health literacy to quality care for the uninsured. This report highlights the work our team accomplished in 2015.

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Peter Andruszkiewicz, BCBSRI President and CEO

Whether we’re volunteering at a local social service agency or investing in community programs, our goal is good health for our fellow Rhode Islanders—now and for the future.

Peter Andruszkiewicz, President and CEO, BCBSRI

2015 Community Investment by the Numbers

Organizations supported through in-kind donations, volunteerism, or financial support
  • 7,201
    Volunteer hours served
  • $169,439
    Value of volunteer hours*
  • $153,245
    Generated by employee fundraising
  • $1,016,596
    Invested by the company through financial or in-kind donations

Healthy Kids

Promoting Nutrition and Fitness

Nearly one-third of Rhode Island children are overweight or obese, which can impact their health now and in the future. That’s why we’re helping the next generation develop healthy habits for life.

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BlueAngel Community Health Grants

Since 2014, we have shifted the focus of our BlueAngel Community Health Grant program to investing in Rhode Island’s future. In 2015, nine organizations received funding to further the significant impact they’re making on the health of Rhode Island’s children.

Awarded in grants
Rhode Island children and family members impacted

The support of BCBSRI has been integral in the Y’s ability to impact our community’s youth through much needed initiatives around healthy living. BCBSRI models these efforts by a shared commitment to facilitate great change for all in our community.

Mike Miller, CEO, Newport County YMCA
2015 New Grant Recipients
Education in Action
Education in Action

Young Star ACTIVists

348 middle school youth engaged in hands-on experiential learning about health and wellness.

Clínica Esperanza Hope Clinic
Clínica Esperanza Hope Clinic

Niños Activos y Sanos

105 underserved parents received childhood obesity prevention education.

Partnership for Providence Parks
Partnership for Providence Parks

Providence PlayCorps

4,446 benefited from unstructured play opportunities in low-income-area parks.

McAuley Village
McAuley Village

Get Fit McAuley

84 homeless mothers and children received nutrition education, cooking instruction, and access to physical activity.

Newport County YMCA
Newport County YMCA

Prescribe the Y

32 youth received comprehensive fitness and nutrition education.

Crossroads Rhode Island
Crossroads Rhode Island

Nutrition & Exercise to Combat Childhood Obesity Among Homeless Children & Teens

591 homeless children received yearlong exercise and nutrition programming.

Helping Schoolchildren Be Healthier

In 2015, we continued our support of the Rhode Island Healthy Schools Coalition, which helps ensure that all students are well nourished and physically active.

BCBSRI has provided us with tremendous guidance, community connections and extended partnerships, and a stronger vision for our success. We wouldn’t be where we are without them!

Karin M. Wetherill,
Rhode Island Healthy Schools Coalition

Increasing Physical Activity in RI Schools

Our partnership with KIDS COUNT started last year when we supported the Issue Brief on Childhood and Adolescent Obesity and helped implement its recommendations.

In 2015, we were fortunate to continue our partnership with Rhode Island KIDS COUNT with a new policy brief, Promoting Increased Physical Activity in Schools. The brief’s findings and recommendations were released at a policy roundtable attended by key state leaders who could use the information to make immediate changes.

This important policy brief will accelerate efforts by elected officials, community leaders, and partners to take action that will improve the health of children and youth.

Elizabeth Burke Bryant, Executive Director, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT

Helping Improve Recess

Playworks Education Energized provides training to Rhode Island schools to keep students active during recess time. In 2015, BCBSRI offered a “Playshop” for 58 Rhode Island teachers and para-professionals from 32 schools, providing tips and tools for high-quality recess that increases vigorous physical activity, reduces bullying, and helps students be ready to learn.

Access to Care

Strengthening the Safety Net

All Rhode Islanders deserve access to affordable, high-quality care. By teaming up with providers and nonprofits, we’re helping the uninsured and underinsured receive much needed services.

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Investing in Quality Care for All

Although access to healthcare has increased in recent years as a result of the Affordable Care Act, approximately 50,000 Rhode Islanders still do not have adequate insurance coverage. In 2015, we continued to fund clinics providing free and low-cost healthcare services.

Clinica Esperanza
Clínica Esperanza

The CHEER walk-in clinic provides free basic health services to the uninsured and underinsured.

Rhode Islanders helped
Rhode Island Oral Health Commission
Rhode Island Oral Health Foundation

The annual Mission of Mercy is a two-day dental clinic that provides free dental services.

Rhode Islanders helped
Rhode Island Free Clinic
Rhode Island Free Clinic

The clinic provides free primary care, specialty care, lab, wellness programs, and prescription assistance.

Rhode Islanders helped

I have never met a more caring and engaged group of funders! Because of BCBSRI’s investment in our CHEER Clinic, we were able to provide healthcare services that saved low-income uninsured families more than $250,000.

Annie De Groot, M.D., Executive Director, Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic

Health Literacy

Making the Most of Healthcare

At times, healthcare can seem like its own language. Our community programs help Rhode Islanders understand the system and get the most from their healthcare.

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Promoting Health Education and Prevention

Our grassroots community wellness programs are designed to help Rhode Islanders protect their health.

Rhode Islanders impacted by wellness programs
Rhode Islanders vaccinated against the flu

Offering Diabetes Education for Seniors

Hundreds of seniors benefited from the education provided by doctors during Diabetes Boot Camp for Seniors. This program was the result of a partnership between BCBSRI and the American Diabetes Association and will continue to be offered in 2016.

Ensuring Access to Primary Care

Since 2012, we have been a significant funder of the Rhode Island Licensed Health Professionals Loan Repayment Program. The recipients provide medical services in our state’s underserved communities for two years. This helps address the shortage in primary care services that causes disparities in health.

Recipients working in underserved communities in 2015
New awardees were announced in 2015

Reaching Out Through Latino Public Radio

We continued our partnership with Latino Public Radio in 2015 by sponsoring the monthly radio show “Asegurate,” translated as “Insure Yourself.” Hosted by Dr. Pablo Rodriguez, this one-hour program helps educate listeners about the healthcare system and often features BCBSRI employees such as Bobby Rodriguez and Maria Tateosian (pictured).


Volunteering to Make a Difference

Our enthusiastic employee volunteers help our community investment program thrive. In 2015, employee volunteerism and fundraising exceeded goals and expectations long before the end of the year.

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Blue Across Rhode Island

At our fourth annual company-wide day of service, our BlueAngel employee volunteers made a direct impact on the community:


BCBSRI genuinely cares about the communities it serves here in RI. The employees have a heart for service. I have never known another company that put as much heart and soul into a day!

Jennifer Mulcahey, The Changing Table
hours donated
Employee volunteers
Organizations supported
Rhode Islanders impacted
Children impacted

A Friendly Food Drive Competition

This year’s annual Thanksgiving food drive involved a new element: competing with our neighbors at Amica to raise the most food for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

Food items collected by both BCBSRI and Amica

Supporting Local Nonprofit Leaders

For the fifth year, we continued our partnership with The Rhode Island Foundation’s Initiative for Non-Profit Excellence Board Referral. This initiative helps ensure that members who serve on the boards of nonprofit organizations are both capable and committed.

We’re thrilled to partner with BCBSRI to both strengthen boards and highlight excellent nonprofit work. This work is invaluable to the sector.

Jill Pfitzenmayer, Rhode Island Foundation

Looking for Volunteers? Let Us Know.

Email us at for more information on how to get our BlueAngel volunteers involved at your organization.

Honored to be Recognized

PRNews Corporate Social Responsibility Awards - Top Volunteer Program Award
PRNews Corporate Social Responsibility Awards

Top Volunteer Program Award

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - Top Fundraising Team Award
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Top Fundraising Team Award

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation - Corporate Champion Award
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Corporate Champion Award


Caring for Our Community

Our state’s diversity is its strength. We strive to help every Rhode Islander be healthier as well as to protect the health of our natural resources.

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Best Place to Work Recognitions

We were honored to receive two awards for our workplace culture last year.

Providence Business News Best Places to Work

This award is given based on confidential employee surveys and management reports.

2016 Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality

For the second year in a row, BCBSRI received a score of 100% on the Corporate Equality Index, which measures corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workplace equality.

LGBTQ Safe Zone Certification

Through this program, we encourage community healthcare providers to commit to supportive and affirming practices for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) patients. Research and our community members have told us that it is a struggle to find healthcare professionals who provide safe care to LGBTQ people. This certification helps to close that gap. In 2015, Thundermist Health Center—West Warwick, South County, and Woonsocket locations—received the Safe Zone certification, as did Jayna Klatzker, LICSW.

Making Strides in Supplier Diversity

This program encourages small or diverse businesses—at least 51 percent owned by people of color, women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, veterans, or those in other disenfranchised groups—to participate in the competitive bid process for goods and services. In 2015, our corporate spending with this group of suppliers increased significantly.

Living and Working Green

Respecting the environment and reducing our impact on it is a priority at Blue Cross.
Our recycling program alone saved the equivalent of:

cubic yards of landfill
barrels of oil
MW of power
gallons of water

Honored to be Recognized

NAACP – Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award

The Providence American
The Providence American

Corporate Diversity Officer of the Year Award to Bobby Rodriguez, Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer