June 24, 2015

BlueShield Employees “Pay it Forward” Donate $8,000 to Local Charities

blueLatham, NY – Employees at BlueShield of Northeastern New York donated $8,000 total to eight local charities ($1,000 each) today at the company’s corporate headquarters.

The health plan’s workforce raises funds throughout the year for the Charity Fund. Building off traditional fundraising efforts led by the company’s volunteer committee, “The Blue Crew”, the largest contribution to this year’s funds came from the newly launched “Casual Fridays” initiative.

Last year, BlueShield launched the program which allows employees to dress down on Fridays for a charitable contribution of $2 a week.

“We are a community-based, non-for-profit health plan which helps us focus on investing in the community in ways that create and encourage healthy lifestyles for everyone,” said Kirk Panneton, MD, Regional Executive and Medical Director of BlueShield. “Our employees embrace this and collectively invest thousands of dollars and volunteer hours each year.  These efforts reinforce that giving back and paying it forward are part of our core values.”

All employees were given the opportunity to vote and select the charities that would benefit from a long list of worthy organizations. BlueShield of Northeastern New York has been a “Best Places to work for seven consecutive years (Albany Business Review).

The recipients: Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York – Works to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research to provide and enhanced care and support for all affected.

American Cancer Association, Albany Chapter – A community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer and saving those who are suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy, and service.

Autism Society of Albany – Promoting lifelong access and opportunities for those with Autism present in their families so that they are able to be fully participating in their communities.

Double H Ranch – A camp for children with life threatening diseases. Providing a chance for more children to have the opportunity to explore nature and make friends with others.

Food Pantries of the Capital Region – Supports pantries by funding, purchasing, collecting, and delivering food. They provide a forum for networking, coordination of services, education and training for pantry staff and volunteers.

Make A Wish Foundation of Northeast New York – Granting the wishes of children with life-threatening conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.

Mohawk Hudson Humane Society – Works to improve the lives of homeless, abused, and abandoned animals.

Wounded Warrior Project –Works to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members into our nation’s society.


About BlueShield of Northeastern New York: BlueShield of Northeastern New York is a division of HealthNow New York Inc., one of New York’s leading health care companies that provides access to quality health care and innovative solutions for members throughout upstate New York. Headquartered in Buffalo, NY, the company is an independent Licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. Since 1946, BlueShield has helped millions of people lead healthier lives. Today, we offer a full range of insured, self-insured, and government programs and services covering businesses, families, and individuals, as well as life and disability coverage, dental and vision plans and stop-loss coverage. The company contributes significantly to organizations that promote physical health, community health and our region’s health.  BlueShield believes in taking small steps towards healthier living because – Healthy Changes Everything®. For more information visit