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Highmark donates masks to West Virginia agencies

From left, Jim Fawcett, president of Highmark West Virginia, and Robert Roswall, commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services, pass personal protection equipment donated by the insurance company to the state. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — Highmark West Virginia has donated thousands of face masks to the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services and United Way agencies in West Virginia.

The donations are part of Highmark’s 1.3 million face mask initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highmark West Virginia donated 15,000 masks to the Bureau of Senior Services and the United Way agencies.

“Highmark remains committed to keeping those who do so much for our communities safe and healthy during the ongoing pandemic,” said Jim Fawcett, president of Highmark West Virginia. “These organizations do so much for their communities, and we want to make sure that they are able to continue their operations safely.”

The Bureau of Senior Services is the lead entity for programs serving older West Virginians, such as senior centers and nutrition programs.

Jim Fawcett, president of Highmark West Virginia, delivers masks to the United Way of Central West Virginia. (Photo Provided)

“I want express my appreciation to Highmark and Jim Fawcett for the 15,000 masks,” said Robert Roswall, commissioner of the Bureau of Senior Services. “This donation will help protect the in-home caregivers provider network and the seniors they serve.”

Masks also are being sent to seniors enrolled in Highmark’s Medicare Advantage product and several group clients. Organizations selected for the donation received a predetermined number of face masks based on the size of the group.

Earlier this year, Highmark Inc. and the Highmark Foundation announced $307,000 in grants to organizations focused on helping people in need in West Virginia during the pandemic, including three food banks and community-based health care organizations focused on strengthening their capacity to serve those who are uninsured and underserved in West Virginia.

In response to the pandemic, Highmark Health Plan has taken proactive measures through coverage expansions, increased options to access to care, support for its communities, providers and customers and by providing resources to access help and information to ensure that our members, employees and communities are safe and can continue to receive care.

Initially, Highmark expanded benefits to cover telehealth and inpatient, in-network COVID-19 treatment with no cost-sharing and has now extended that until Dec. 31.

To support those affected by the pandemic, Highmark dedicated a website, highmarkanswers.com, to answer questions and provide insight to the community and launched a stream of podcasts to assist in understanding issues surrounding COVID-19. Highmark also committed $2 million in grants to food insecurity, safety net providers and COVID-19 relief organizations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia serves 246,000 members through the company’s health care benefits business and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the BlueCard program.

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