Investing in Our Community, Investing in Each Other

January 25, 2022

Blue KC has spent more than 80 years investing in and supporting our community. Through a wide variety of engagement and giving initiatives, 2021 was certainly no exception. As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to pose health challenges and strain resources, Blue KC redoubled efforts related to key partnerships, community engagement and financial support through giving.

Let’s review a few of the ways we gave back in 2021.

Financial Giving

As the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial insurer in Kansas City, Blue KC has spent more than 80 years investing in the region. This past year, Blue KC’s Community Investment team provided funds to more than 250 nonprofit organizations in Kansas City through sponsorship and grant funding, including investment in #ZeroReasonsWhy, a community mobilization and story campaign to prevent teen suicide. In addition, Blue KC provided a capacity-building grant to People of All Colors Succeed, who collaborate with schools and businesses to better provide opportunities to youth through their Real World Learning in-school curriculum program. And in partnership with the Kansas City Royals, Blue KC provided grants to multiple organizations through the Shut Out the Stigma campaign, which highlights the importance of behavioral health.

As part of an effort to increase awareness of hunger facing underserved areas in and around Kansas City, Well Stocked — a Blue KC Initiative — provided grants to local organizations like The Giving Grove and Feed KC Forward.

Blue KC employees did their part to pitch in as well, pledging nearly $300,000 to 151 organizations during the annual Blue KC Cares Campaign, including almost $100,000 dedicated to the United Way of Greater Kansas City.

Community Engagement

Blue KC employees served on more than 50 local nonprofit boards and spent countless hours throughout 2021 volunteering at organizations such as Harvesters – The Community Food Network and HappyBottoms.

Members of Blue KC’s senior leadership team volunteered their time as well, serving on the board of many community nonprofit organizations, including United Way of Greater Kansas City, Community Blood Center, the Highland Community College Foundation, the American Lung Association in Kansas & Greater Kansas City, Starlight Theater, Union Station, the Police Foundation of Kansas City, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Phoenix Family, the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, Rose Brooks Center and the Kansas City Area Development Council.


To provide outreach and better meet the social needs of COVID-19 positive members, Blue KC’s Community Health team partnered with the Mid-America Regional Council, resulting in:

  • 2,610 members screened for social needs, including food, housing, transportation, and social isolation
  • 334 members connected to Mindful by Blue KC, a behavioral health initiative dedicated to addressing social isolation while making care more accessible and affordable
  • 232 members received community support from social workers and community health workers to connect them to social health services
  • 103 members received home-delivered meals to address food insecurity and ensure members’ ability to safely quarantine

And in a push to highlight the importance of behavioral health, Blue KC partnered with the city’s professional women’s soccer team, Kansas City Current, as well as Girls on the Run — a nonprofit organization that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident — and #ZeroReasonsWhy — a community mobilization and story campaign to prevent teen suicide. The partnership included a discussion featuring KC Current players, the Blue KC Behavioral Health team, and Girls on the Run participants, who were also invited to attend a KC Current home game. The match featured a #ZeroReasonsWhy banner signing in the main concourse, where patrons were invited to share their experiences and offer words of encouragement for those struggling with behavioral health issues.

Company Recognitions

  • Chairman’s Award from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
  • First Call Resolution Improvement Award from SQM
  • Highest Employee Experience by Industry Award (Healthcare) from SQM
  • World Class Employee Experience Award from SQM
  • Best Practice Award for Quality Assurance Program from SQM
  • 2021 Healthiest Employers honoree by the Kansas City Business Journal
  • Certified Platinum for Workplace Wellness by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Healthy KC Workplace Wellness Certification Program
  • Revvie Award winner from Clarabridge, Inc., which recognizes the ROI and bottom-line revenue impact of customer experience
  • Best Commercial Customer Service in the Employee Experience category of the 2021 North American Customer Centricity Awards
  • Blue KC was recognized at No. 83 of the Top 100 Healthiest Employers in America by Healthiest Employers®, the leading national recognition program for employee wellness
  • Blue KC also took home a host of customer experience honors from Awards International, LLC, including:
    • Gold – Best Customer Experience Metric
    • Silver – Best Customer Centric Culture
    • Silver – Best B to B Customer Experience Strategy
    • Bronze – Best Customer Service

Employee Focused Recognitions

  • Tammy Ault, Manager, IT Application Delivery, was recognized by Connections to Success, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire individuals to realize their dreams and achieve economic independence.
  • Jenny Housley, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, was honored in the Kansas City Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business program for 2021. This selective program recognizes 25 women each year for their career accomplishments and contributions to the business community.
  • Dr. Raelene Knolla, Vice President of Population Health, Senior Medical Director, was selected as one of Ingram’s Magazines 50 Kansans You Should Know Class of 2021.
  • Blake Straatmann, Robotic Process Automation Analyst II, was selected by Ingram’s Magazine for the 2021 class of 20 in Their Twenties, which recognizes the achievements of young professionals who demonstrate entrepreneurial thinking on behalf of their employers.
  • Dillon Strohm, Associate General Counsel, was selected as a 2021 40 Under Forty honoree by Ingram’s Magazine as an accomplished business and community leader in the region under age 40.
  • Maureen Vogel, Associate General Counsel, was recognized by Missouri Lawyers Media as a 2021 In-House Counsel Awards honoree.
  • Blue KC was honored to have 64 customer advocates, 10 supervisors and 13 leads who achieved World Class Certification status from SQM, a survey vendor that benchmarks over 500 call centers across North America. In addition, four Blue KC employees were recognized by SQM for their outstanding customer service. These team members include:
  • Brittany Badua, Associate Operations Application Specialist, nominated for Customer Service Representative of the Year
  • Gretchen Gladden, Senior Customer Advocate, nominated for Customer Service Representative of the Year
  • Tracy Shifflett, Customer Liaison, nominated for Customer Service Representative of the Year

Blue KC’s call center and designated employees were recognized during SQM’s annual virtual awards ceremony in May 2021.

Blue KC is extremely proud of the support it provided the community throughout 2021. No matter what the future holds, we’ll continue to invest in ways that make a lasting impact in the region.