SALT LAKE CITY – Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah teamed up with Intermountain Healthcare to make donations to two community organizations, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area and Utah Community Action. The contributions aim to help these nonprofits address unexpected challenges related to COVID-19 as they continue to support pediatric patients, local schoolchildren, and their families.
The $200,000 joint donation from Regence and Intermountain was distributed evenly, with RMHC and UCA each receiving $100,000.
“This truly meaningful support from Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Intermountain Healthcare came at the culmination of a year that was unprecedented in public health and safety,” said Carrie Romano, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities Intermountain Area. “The families we’re serving simply cannot stay home during this pandemic as their children need life-saving medical care. Our mission has continued during this time only because extraordinary and inspiring healthcare partners like Regence and Intermountain come together in support of pediatric patient families. We’re keeping families together when they need each other the most.”
RMHC provides stability, support and resources for seriously ill or injured children receiving care at local hospitals and their families. Last March, its leadership team swiftly took steps to prevent coronavirus from spreading among the vulnerable pediatric patient families they serve, including limiting onsite lodging. As an innovative solution, the team identified safer offsite emergency lodging options, resulting in nearly $500,000 in unplanned, unbudgeted expenses in 2020.
Based on the $100,000 donation from Regence and Intermountain, RMHC raised another $100,000 through a challenge grant. They applied the $200,000 toward safer lodging for 234 children with the highest acuity conditions and longest hospital stays or who had traveled the greatest distance to Utah with their families.
“The contributions from Regence and Intermountain have been a tremendous help as we prioritized our services to continue to meet the need of our families, especially as many of them have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic,” said Jennifer Godfrey, Utah Community Action CEO. “We need to begin preparing for the lasting effects of what is to come as it relates to COVID-19 and not just what is before us today.”
UCA directed the $100,000 contribution from Regence and Intermountain toward its Head Start Program, which serves approximately 2,000 low-income children in Utah. Beyond preparing children for school and helping them to develop important social and emotional skills, this program increases access to dental and medical care as well as mental health services for the families UCA serves.
Utah Community Action is a long-standing non-profit providing six core programs and services in Salt Lake and Tooele County. In a year inhibited by the pandemic, this nonprofit agency acted quickly to continue its work to address long-term health disparities among low-income families. It switched to offering virtual programs and created “hubs” at several locations to continue serving children and families.
About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah
Based in Salt Lake City, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah is the state’s first health insurer and now provides more than 675,000 people with comprehensive health insurance solutions. As a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Regence is part of a family of companies dedicated to transforming health care by delivering innovative products and services that change the way consumers in Utah and nationwide experience health care. Learn more from our COVID-19 Impact Report. For more information, please visit regence.com, Facebook or Twitter.
About Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Intermountain Area
The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities is to surround families with the support they need to be near and care for their seriously ill or injured children. RMHC provides a home-away-from-home to ease daily burdens and empower families of hospitalized children with meaningful experiences and quality time together. To learn more, visit our website at www.rmhcslc.org
About Utah Community Action
Founded in 1965, Utah Community Action is a nationally recognized provider of comprehensive services for income-eligible families. Their six core programs—Head Start, Adult Education, Case Management & Housing, Nutrition, HEAT, and Weatherization—address barriers to self-sufficiency to empower individuals, strengthen families, and build communities. Utah Community Action is an equal opportunity provider. For more information, visit www.utahca.org or receive updates from Facebook or Instagram.