BOISE — Regence BlueShield of Idaho announced today it awarded its 2009 Latino Hero Award to Boise resident Maria Berain, a mentor for local Latino college students. The award is part of Regence’s ongoing commitment to the Latino community, and it honors individuals of Latino descent who have given back to the community and have impressive professional or educational accomplishments.
“Through her mentorship program, Maria Berain has opened her home and her heart to college-bound Latino students,” said Francisco Garbayo, Regence emerging markets manager. “Her tireless advocacy and support for higher education efforts in the Latino community truly embodies the spirit of Regence’s Latino Hero Award."
Berian runs a mentorship program for Boise area college students, and many of her mentees have gone on to earn graduate scholarships to Ivy League schools and successful careers. Maria also assists seniors in her community. Her daily routine includes leading a group exercise session and grocery shopping for seniors, among other activities.
“The Regence Latino Hero Award was created to honor Latinos making significant contributions to the community, and it is part of Regence’s larger Latino outreach program focusing on health education,” continued Garbayo. “At Regence we understand and honor the changing face of our communities.”
As the recipient of the Hero Award, Berian will receive $2,000, which she plans to donate to Hispanic Seniors of Idaho. She will also be featured in a Regence advertising campaign.
About Regence BlueShield of Idaho
Regence BlueShield of Idaho is a leading health plan in Idaho with more than 210,000 members, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence is the largest health insurer in the Northwest / Intermountain Region, serving more than 2.5 million members as Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington). Each plan is a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit or