Partner Spotlight: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Jeff Bellows

Luckily, in our work here at BOKS, we have the pleasure of meeting individuals whose passion for health and wellness matches our own. Collaboration with these like-minded and driven individuals led to BOKS’ founding and keeps our program thriving today. One of those individuals is Jeff Bellows, Vice President Corporate Citizenship & Public Affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Jeff and it is our pleasure to feature him as well as BCBSMA this month in our Partner Spotlight:

BOKS Founder Kathleen Tullie met Jeff Bellows at an event hosted by the Mass General Hospital for Children a few years ago. At the time, BCBSMA’s corporate citizenship was focused on four pillars – one of which was healthy child development – a perfect fit for the BOKS program.

With an aligned vision and a desire to impact the community, the relationship with BCBSMA and BOKS was born. While BOKS is free to communities due to our volunteer model, BCBSMA partners with us to bring BOKS to communities that may not have the ability to recruit volunteers to run the program. Since then our partnership and work together has continued to evolve reaching more and more communities across Massachusetts…

“Three years ago, we made the decision to evolve BCBSMA’s corporate citizenship work to be more aligned with who we are as a company,” said Jeff.  “Being a healthcare company, obviously healthy living is very important to us. So we launched our Healthy Living Platform which has allowed us to become a more strategic part of the company rather than a side project outside of the core business.”

To BCBSMA “Healthy Living” means healthy eating, active lifestyles and healthy environments.

“You can see why BOKS fits perfectly into this strategy,” added Jeff. “And what’s truly unique about BOKS is that while BCBSMA brings BOKS to low income communities through our corporate citizenship programming, our members and employees also see the benefits to their own children in their own communities.”

The BCBSMA Healthy Living Platform is not just focused on kids, although they find kids to be one of the most vulnerable populations, they have many initiatives that bring the benefits of health and wellness to people of all ages and backgrounds.

“It is important to BCBSMA that we bring our values to life in the community,” said Jeff. “We have the health expertise here that gives our members confidence that we will take care of them when they are sick and now we want people to think of us when they are healthy as well – which is why we provide programs like BOKS, our free fitness in the park, and many more programs that benefit our members as well as non-members.”

Jeff added that BOKS’ continued efforts to partner with organizations like Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School to prove the efficacy of the program has been terrific to see.

“BOKS works and every community can stand to benefit from it no matter their socioeconomic status,” he added.

We can’t thank you enough for your support Jeff. We look forward to continuing our partnership to help bring the benefits of health and wellness to all people in our communities.