Highmark BCBSWNY Announces $300,000 Investment to Honor Katherine Massey and Support Relief Efforts
In honor of Katherine Massey, BCBS Retiree Who Dedicated 40-Years to Health Plan, Scholarship will be Provided to a Buffalo Public Schools Student
Buffalo, NY – To support local relief efforts and honor the victims of the tragic shootings at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo last weekend, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York today announced a $300,000 investment to support all those impacted, as well as the greater community.
“We are heartbroken over the lives lost at the hands of racism and violence and pray for their families, friends, and neighbors,” said Dr. Michael Edbauer, President, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York. “It is with especially heavy hearts that we remember Katherine ‘Kat’ Massey, who as our long-time colleague dedicated four decades to serving our Blue Cross Blue Shield members.”
In memory of Kat Massey’s legacy, the local health insurer is awarding a grant to We Are Women Warriors, a non-profit organization she co-founded, dedicated to aiding inner-city residents in socioeconomic, educational, environmental, and criminal justice. To also memorialize her life-long contributions to the betterment of Buffalo Public Schools, HMBCBSWNY is creating a scholarship fund for a BPS student.
“Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York remains committed to supporting our community through this tragic time, while we honor the lives and legacies of those we lost,” Edbauer added. “This is particularly close to our hearts, and to our company, because Kat Massey was one of those we lost, and she worked with us for 40 years.”
The local health plan is also:
- Providing monetary support to key mental health providers for the Jefferson Avenue community including BestSelf Behavioral Health, Spectrum Health and Human Services, Endeavor Health Services, and Crisis Services;
- Investing in the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund to support the most immediate and long-term needs in the community;
- Continuing to donate and distribute essential items at many locations throughout the East Side to those most impacted, including FeedMore WNY, First Fruits Food Pantry at the Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church, and the Buffalo Community Fridge.
This emergency funding for the grant and the scholarship are in addition to the $7 million a year the health insurer dedicated in 2022 to hundreds of non-profit organizations, especially those working to improve the social determinants of health in the community.
About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York is a trade name of Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Since 1936, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York has helped millions of people lead healthier lives. Blue Cross Blue Shield offers a full range of insured, self-insured, and government programs and services covering businesses, families, and individuals, as well as dental and vision plans and stop-loss coverage. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield employs more than 1,500 people and serves as a key economic driver in the region. As a community-based, not-for-profit health plan, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield contributes significantly to organizations that strengthen and enrich the health of the community.