CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee contributed $4.7 million in financial, in-kind and volunteer efforts to more than 200 Tennessee organizations during 2006. The contributions are part of the company’s outreach effort, which is designed to positively impact the health of Tennessee communities.

“As a health care company we have a responsibility to not only meet the needs of our members, but also to address the needs of those in our communities that fall outside the reach of our traditional business role,” said Calvin Anderson, vice president of federal and community relations for BlueCross. “It’s about bringing value to communities across the state and putting their health at the center of all we do.”

Key giving channels for the company include corporate outreach, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust and the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation.

As part of corporate outreach, BlueCross sponsored many events and health initiatives, including Healthy Competition, the Tennessee Senior Olympics and WalkingWorks for Schools. More than 165,000 students enrolled in the school-based walking program at the start of the 2006 school year and are learning the importance of daily exercise and healthy lifestyles.

Through the Trust nearly $500,000 in support was provided for healthy living, health care access, education and diversity, and economic and community development. Organizations receiving funds ranged from disease prevention/management associations and volunteer-based health clinics to youth-oriented groups and arts-based organizations.

Funding priorities for the Foundation were children’s health and wellbeing (emphasis on childhood obesity), minority health disparities, and the under- and uninsured. The Foundation bestowed nearly $2 million in grants to organizations such as Mountain State Health Alliance, Tennessee Pediatric Society Foundation, Rural Medical Services and the Tennessee Center for Nursing.

According to Anderson, although all three funding channels address a range of health and social issues, BlueCross is primarily focused on prevention.

“We want to prevent certain behaviors before they become health problems,” Anderson explained. “By addressing issues early in life and investing in them now, we can create a better future for the next generation of Tennesseans.”

Highlights of BlueCross’ 2006 community relations efforts can be viewed online at <a href=http://"">

About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust was formed in 1999 and began operation in January 2000 as a social welfare organization in accordance with 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(4). As a charitable foundation licensee, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust has a mission to support the communities it serves. It provides this support through charitable giving to those programs that enhance and emphasize healthy living, health care access and quality of life for all.

About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc.

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation Inc. (THF) was established in December 2003 as a 501(c)(3) foundation organized to promote the philanthropic mission of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee by awarding grants focused on high impact initiatives across the state, which promote healthy lifestyle choices and help control health care costs for all Tennessee residents. THF, working with civic and economic partners, is dedicated to the support of research, innovative programs and creative approaches to improve the health and quality of life of Tennesseans for generations to come.