BlueShield donates PPEs to local schools

MOHAWK VALLEY — Area school districts including Broadalbin-Perth Central School District, Fonda-Fultonville School District and Greater Amsterdam School District were three of several that BlueShield of Northeastern New York donated personal protective equipment to.

To help protect the health and safety of local students and staff, BlueShield donated more than 2,000 PPE kits to several schools and community centers throughout the Capital and Mohawk Valley regions.

“As we navigate these uncharted territories, BlueShield will continue to find new ways to step in and support the health and safety of our community,” said Keith Dolan, Regional Executive, BlueShield of Northeastern New York. “We recognize the impact that the pandemic is having on our schools, and we’re pleased to help protect our teachers and students so they can continue teaching and learning.”

Each PPE kit contains a face shield, disinfectant hand wipes and hand sanitizer.

“We sincerely appreciate the generous donation from BlueShield of Northeastern New York,” said F-FCSD Superintendent Thomas Ciaccio. “We are grateful for all of the community partners we have as we work together to keep our school district safe and healthy.”

“It was very nice of BlueShield to do that,” said Colleen DiCaprio, GASD business manager.

DiCaprio said the school district was delivered approximately 200 kits in which the district will try to determine how those kits should be distributed. She said some might be distributed to families who are in need of them, some might be distributed to staff and some might be distributed to be used in school buildings.

“They are needed,” DiCaprio said.

She said the donated PPE kits will help diminish the costs the school district would have to spend on them.

“It will help prevent COVID-19 from coming into the school district,” DiCaprio said. “Amsterdam has been very fortunate. There has been a case here or there, but nothing that has really impacted the district.”

Marco Zumbolo, B-P CSD assistant superintendent said they also received approximately 200 PPE kits which they distributed to faculty and staff to use to be used in their classrooms.

Zumbolo said the donated PPE kits will also help the district keep its students and staff safe, and will help terms of saving money.

“We thank BlueShield for their time and effort for bringing us those supplies,” Zumbolo said. “It was nice of them to do.”

Other schools that received the kits include: North Colonie Central School District; Whispering Pines School; Capital District Beginnings; KIPP Tech Valley Charter School; Albany Charter School; Catskill Central School District; Lansingburgh Central School District; Rensselaer City School District and Schenectady City Schools. Plus, Capital Region community centers including The Arc New York, formerly NYSARC; Center for Disability Services; COARC; Kingsway Arms Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center; Boys and Girls Club of Albany; Boys and Girls Club of Troy; Liberty Behavioral Management Group, Inc.; Town of Coeymans and Warren County will also receive kits.

BlueShield also recently distributed $411,000 in relief for nearly 30 local primary care provider groups through its COVID-19 Provider Relief Program and launched a reimbursement program for doctors and nurse practitioners to help cover the cost of PPE within their practice.

In addition, as part of their ongoing efforts to support the health of the community during the pandemic, BlueShield of Northeastern New York donated $150,000 to the Capital Region COVID-19 Community Response Fund and delivered hundreds of healthy snack-packs and bottles of hand-sanitizer to Capital Region heroes who are on the frontlines.

BlueShield employees donated $5,000 to local organizations recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as collected and donated over 2,000 pounds of food for The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York during a drive-through food drive it hosted at its headquarters.

By Paul Wager