CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Following its long-time practice of helping Tennesseans achieve better health, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee invested $11.3 million in 2013 to projects across Tennessee that emphasize healthy living, health care access and quality of life. More than 180 individual organizations plus another 200 elementary and middle schools benefited from BlueCross contributions.

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.

“We’re committed to investing in efforts that improve the well-being of all Tennesseans, not just our members,” said Calvin Anderson, senior vice president of corporate affairs and executive director of BlueCross’ Tennessee Health Foundation and Community Trust. “As a company, we have a deep sense of commitment to our state and the thousands of communities that comprise it.”

In 2013, BlueCross focused efforts on causes such as Mothers and Infants Sober Together (MIST), a program that provides treatment and support for drug-addicted mothers and their children who suffer from neonatal abstinence syndrome – a condition caused by exposure to drugs during gestation.

Another focus was Nashville’s Faith Family Medical Center’s Journey to Health program, which provides affordable access to wellness activities, reducing health risk factors to those who otherwise couldn’t afford it.

Now in its fourth year, the Shape the State program – which brings the evidence-based SPARK P.E. curriculum and equipment into Tennessee middle schools – was a focus once again in 2013. So far, the program, which includes the OrganWise Guys nutrition and wellness program for elementary students, has impacted 155 schools and approximately 155,000 children across the state.

Other efforts addressed expanding behavioral and mental health services, strengthening middle school physical education programs and getting Tennesseans to live healthier lives through the state’s Healthier Tennessee initiative.

For more information on BlueCross’s 2013 community outreach efforts, read the 2013 Community Relations Annual Report. To watch videos highlighting some of these efforts and for more information on other outreach initiatives, go to the Corporate Responsibility page on BCBST.com.

About Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc.

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc. (THF) was established in December, 2003 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation organized to promote the philanthropic mission of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. THF awards grants focused on high-impact initiatives across the state, which promote healthy lifestyle choices and help control health care costs for all Tennessee residents. Working with civic and economic partners, THF 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.

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.