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Community Highlights: Highmark Health

Highmark employees Travis Tiani and Lesley Bickford (left and center) joined fellow volunteer Sean Mikita (right) for volunteer work in the Pittsburgh community. Volunteerism is a strong tradition that will be further encouraged through a new paid Volunteer Day.

Employee volunteerism bolstered by new Volunteer Day

Beginning on January 1, 2015, Highmark Health enterprise employees across many business units became eligible for a brand new way to give back to the community. An additional paid day off, called Volunteer Day, provides our employees with a day to pursue volunteer activities during hours when they would normally be on the job.

"Employee volunteerism is an important part of our culture," explains Atiya Abdelmalik, director of community programs for Highmark Health. "Our employees are quick to extend their spirit of compassion outside of the workplace, to find time and resources to help others in the community. Volunteering is all the more relevant and urgent for us because we are in the health care business, experiencing every day, first-hand, the need to get engaged with others in the community who are in need."

To recognize employees who go above and beyond in providing service to their local communities, Highmark Health and its affiliates annually honor outstanding employee volunteers through the Jefferson Award for Public Service. In April, we honored 12 employees across the U.S. for their outstanding volunteer work by presenting each with a Jefferson Award for Public Service medallion and a $1,000 donation to a nonprofit of their choice. We are one of only 24 organizations across the United States that serves as a Jefferson Awards Champion — perpetuating in the workplace the prestigious award established more than four decades ago by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and other luminaries as the "Nobel Prize" for public service.