CSR 2022    /    Access to Care    /    Community Impact    /    Operating Responsibly    /    Leadership View


Through our community investments, business choices and support for employee volunteers, we strive to advance economic opportunity, food security, physical activity and other factors that create pathways to health.


Supporting Community Organizations

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma awarded nearly $1.1 million in major grants to 28 nonprofits addressing mental health, economic opportunity, and social determinants of health across Oklahoma, reaching more than 84,000 Oklahomans.

BCBSOK continued its partnership with the University of Tulsa Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.

The program helps graduate and professional degree students develop the leadership skills and networks to address unmet needs for underserved populations. 

Woman with glasses smiles from behind computer

One 2022 fellow worked with the Tulsa Dream Center and University of Tulsa on an education-based program to help patients manage high blood pressure and other chronic illnesses. Nearly 70% of projects continue in some form after the 12-month fellowship program. “We are proud of the values alignment between the fellowship and BCBSOK,” says program director Rachel Gold. “It’s been a fabulous, powerful partnership.”

We also continued to invest in programs that train and support Oklahoma’s health care workforce. In partnership with the Oklahoma Healthcare Workforce Training Commission (formerly PMTC), BCBSOK supports a student loan repayment program for physicians who have made a commitment to practice medicine in rural Oklahoma. Our 10-year partnership with the Oklahoma Youth Expo provides scholarships for high school students planning to pursue education in a health care field.


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28 partner organizations

supported with $1.1 million from BCBSOK's major grant program


Addressing Hunger and Nutrition

Recognizing the essential role of nutritious food in all aspects of life, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma supported the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma through an investment in Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.

Healthy gardens in low-income community.

Global Gardens empowers low-income students to plan and cultivate their own gardens, promoting nutrition and positive health outcomes.

The investment is helping these critical front-line organizations hire and train staff, source protein and fresh produce, implement healthy eating guidelines and build intercultural competency so they can meet the food needs of Oklahomans. Our company and employees helped people facing hunger with additional grants and volunteer work.

One grant, for example, supported Global Gardens and its project to transform generational eating habits and reduce negative health outcomes in the Tulsa metro area. The nonprofit is creating a cookbook with nearly 60 healthy, garden-focused recipes geared toward kids. 

Many were developed in partnership with community members throughout the organization’s 15-year history. “A lot of the neighborhoods that we work in don’t have a great grocery store with an array of fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables,” says Maryann Donahue the organization’s executive director. “This should expose many to things they wouldn’t have otherwise tried.”


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100 Oklahoma organizations

have BCBSOK representation on boards and committees


Volunteering in Our Communities

Giving our time to support our fellow Oklahomans is an important part of living our purpose. In 2022, 317 BCBSOK employees volunteered about 7,500 hours with 187 organizations. BCBSOK donated more than $43,000 to 54 organizations in matching dollars for hours volunteered by employees. 

Women gather during community volunteer event.

More than 300 BCBSOK employees volunteered time in their communities to help veterans, individuals with physical challenges and many others in need.

Kristi Acosta, BCBSOK’s 2022 volunteer of the year, regularly volunteered with Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and Emergency Infant Services. She also supported and participated in company-sponsored volunteer opportunities. BCBSOK employees continued a decades long tradition of participating in the Tulsa Area United Way’s Day of Caring at The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges. 

They also gathered to host a donation drive for Blue Star Mothers of America, providing 50 bags of toiletry items, playing cards, puzzle books and other small items to be shipped for actively deployed military personnel for the holidays. 

Employee volunteers collected tents, sleeping bags and other items for the Coffee Bunker, a nonprofit that supports veterans and their families transitioning to civilian life. Employees also volunteer their time and expertise to serve on boards and committees for nonprofit organizations across the state.

In 2022, more than 100 organizations benefited from BCBSOK representation on their boards and committees. Brooke Townsend, director of community affairs for BCBSOK and executive director of the Oklahoma Caring Foundation, is the board chair for the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. The organization equips and strengthens the Oklahoma nonprofit sector through training, consulting, advocacy, membership and networking. “Being able to engage with nonprofits at the board level allows us to have a ground-level understanding of the issues impacting our communities and to be part of the solution,” Townsend says.


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7,500 volunteer hours

logged by employees with 187 organizations


Recognizing Champions of Health

Presented by BCBSOK, the Champions of Health awards were launched with the belief that Oklahoma can do better.

The program recognizes Oklahomans doing good work and creating programs that can be used in other communities to improve the health of even more Oklahomans.

The 19th annual Champions of Health Gala honored five nonprofit organizations working to improve the health of Oklahomans.

All proceeds from the event benefit The Oklahoma Caring Foundation, Inc., to continue providing Oklahoma children with immunizations at no charge through its Caring Van® program.

The Care Center accepts an award at the Champions of Health Gala.

The Care Center, an Oklahoma City-based child advocacy organization, received the highest honor at the 19th Annual Champions of Health Gala.  

The CARE Center — an Oklahoma City-based child advocacy center committed to helping children find their voice and begin to heal after abuse — received the highest honor, the Dr. Rodney L. Huey Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health award. Since its inception in 1991, The CARE Center has helped children share their abuse stories in a safe environment for investigations and connected families with resources that remove barriers to the healing process. As the overall winner, The CARE Center received a $15,000 grant.


CSR 2022    /    Access to Care    /    Community Impact    /    Operating Responsibly    /    Leadership View

Last Updated: March 10, 2023