Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Capital Blue Cross’ Commitment to Harrisburg

Todd Shamash

As the only health insurer headquartered in central Pennsylvania, Capital Blue Cross has called Harrisburg home and provided peace of mind to individuals and families in the greater Harrisburg region and the Lehigh Valley for nearly 85 years.

While our primary focus is on building strong communities by promoting health and wellness—and providing the products and services to help everyone live their healthiest—we also realize educational opportunities are critical to our collective success and growth as a community. That’s why we have such strong relationships with schools, educational foundations, and arts and civic organizations that help our children learn and grow.

We are proud to be the health plan of choice for more than 85 school districts, intermediate units, and technical schools in Pennsylvania. Our involvement with the education community goes beyond the traditional carrier-customer relationship. Capital also makes ongoing community commitments to help our children benefit from quality learning opportunities and resources that help them achieve.

Our education-focused contributions to the Harrisburg region include:

  • Volunteer involvement and financial support for the Big Brothers Big Sisters “Beyond School Walls” mentoring program for minority students from the Harrisburg School District. Capital was the first company in central Pennsylvania to participate in this research-based mentoring model, which was designed to create a trusting relationship between young adults and professionals, inspiring the students to see a future beyond high school.
  • Financial assistance and support of the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.
  • Investments in the Dauphin County Library System’s ongoing library renovations.
  • Support for the Boys & Girls Club of Harrisburg, the Hannah Education Foundation, the Lower Dauphin Falcon Foundation and other entities across central Pennsylvania through the state’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program.
  • Live Healthy School grants that support schools looking to implement health and wellness initiatives that help students stay physically active, improve their nutrition, or provide nutrition education. In 2021 alone, Capital awarded $60,000 through these grants to 33 districts, schools or intermediate units.
  • Support of arts and culture opportunities for our young people, including funding for the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, the CASA Charter School, Open Stage of Harrisburg, and the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg.

Of course, our support of our region’s children goes beyond learning opportunities. We also make continuing investments in their overall health, safety and wellness. For example, we donated 150 infant CPR kits to Hamilton Health Center to help prevent injury or death due to choking, suffocation or sudden cardiac arrest, which affects more than 7,000 children a year, according to the American Heart Association.

Over the years, we have donated millions of dollars to support countless events and organizations in and around the capital city, and we will continue to support the community we call home. We recognize the important role education plays in promoting good health, and we are committed to helping our schools and educators improve the wellbeing of our students, their families and the neighborhoods we serve. Never has there been a more important time to thank our educators for the tough years we’ve endured and their critical role in the promise of our future.

Capital Blue Cross has an unwavering commitment to Harrisburg, and we have never forgotten our roots here. We will continue to be an active participant in the region’s vibrant growth and continued success.

Todd Shamash is president and CEO of Capital Blue Cross.


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