BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee today announced a $500,000 contribution to advance K-12 public education reform — and better health outcomes — in partnership with the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), founded by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.
“BlueCross BlueShield has a history of supporting promising community work across Tennessee, especially when it has the potential to promote better health,” said Vicky Gregg, president and CEO of the not-for-profit health plan. “Supporting a strong K-12 public education system is one of the best strategies for ensuring better health for the next generation.”
Gregg added: “BlueCross BlueShield is proud to partner with Sen. Frist and SCORE in their effort to support key education reform policies and promote school improvement on a statewide basis.”
SCORE is a nonprofit nonpartisan organization that works with state government and local school systems to encourage sound policy decisions in K-12 public education. Based at the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University, SCORE provides policy and research support, and advocates on a statewide basis for key education reform initiatives including Tennessee’s First to the Top strategy.
Frist, one of 14 U.S. healthcare leaders serving on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America, said a growing body of researchconfirms that people with more education are likely to live longer, experience better health outcomes and practice healthier behaviors.
“There is an undeniable connection between education and health,” said Frist, a surgeon who represented Tennessee in the U.S. Senate for 12 years. “That’s why now, more than ever, we need a public education system producing more high-school graduates who are better prepared for a career or college, and life.”
Frist added: “BlueCross BlueShield’s generous contribution to SCORE sends a powerful message about the strong link between improving educational attainment and ensuring better health outcomes.”
In addition to chairing SCORE, Frist serves as vice chair of the Partnership for a Healthier America, which leads First Lady Michelle Obama’s national campaign to fight childhood obesity. To support the national strategy, Frist and SCORE are exploring new public initiatives to promote healthy kids and healthy communities in Tennessee and the South.
“BlueCross BlueShield’s support is invaluable as we look to further strengthen the connection between education and health,” Frist said. “SCORE looks forward to working with the statewide healthcare community to ensure a smarter, healthier generation of Tennesseans in the years ahead.”
ABOUT BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is the state’s oldest and largest not-for-profit health plan, serving nearly 3 million Tennesseans. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on financing affordable health care coverage and providing peace of mind for all Tennesseans. BlueCross serves its members by delivering quality health care products, services and information. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.bcbst.com.
The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) serves as a resource for state government and local school systems. SCORE is committed to thoughtful advocacy and policy work, and to building and sustaining a diverse coalition of public- and private-sector partners. SCORE is governed by a 14-member board of directors, chaired by Sen. Frist and comprised of Tennessee philanthropic and business leaders who care about public education.