CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Organizations working to improve the health and quality of life of Tennesseans received a record $8.2 million boost from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee in 2011. And, that corporate giving was bolstered by more than 12,000 hours of volunteer work by BlueCross employees across the state.

"BlueCross and its employees have a deep sense of commitment to our state and the thousands of communities that comprise it," said Calvin Anderson, senior vice president of corporate affairs and executive director of BlueCross’ Tennessee Health Foundation and Community Trust. "We invest in efforts to improve the health and well-being of our fellow Tennesseans, whether they’re our members or not."

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust and corporate gifts are three major funding outlets BlueCross uses to make its charitable contributions.

In 2011, the Foundation contributed $5.4 million in grants to support causes such as reducing childhood obesity, improving patient safety and increasing access to care. The Foundation continued its long-term financial backing of the Tennessee Center for Patient Safety, which was cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for its effectiveness in reporting and reducing hospital-acquired infections.

Through the Trust, BlueCross donated more than $500,000 to approximately 100 charitable organizations statewide. Money went to organizations that address disease management, access to care, prevention and early detection.

Additionally, BlueCross employees across the state spent more than 12,000 hours volunteering throughout the state. From serving on non-profit boards and coordinating community projects to participating in company-sponsored events, the employees worked to advance the health and well-being of Tennessee’s communities and its residents.

To read more information and watch videos on 2011 BlueCross community relations efforts, go to http://www.bcbst.com/about/community/.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.