A Message from Virginia Chamber President & CEO, Barry DuVal

In April, I announced the launch of the Virginia Chamber’s “Blueprint for Getting Virginians Back to Work” initiative. The goal of this business-led effort is to quickly provide guidance on how to safely re-open the Virginia economy. Since this announcement, the Virginia Chamber has conducted a series of surveys, hosted roundtable discussions, and facilitated other engagement opportunities with members of the business community from all regions of the Commonwealth. 

Throughout this process, the Virginia Chamber has cultivated best practices and resources that are reflected in the final plan released earlier this week. Yesterday, I joined Les Sinclair with WINA to discuss the “Blueprint for Getting Virginians Back to Work” plan and how businesses around Virginia can utilize these best practices. You can listen to the interview here

I would like to thank those who participated in the development process and encourage all citizens of the Commonwealth to visit our new website www.GetVaBackToWork.com to view the final plan, along with a host of other invaluable COVID-19 resources and information.  

Today, Northern Virginia and the city of Richmond join the rest of the Commonwealth in phase two of the “Forward Virginia” plan. An overview of the guidelines of this phase can be found below. 

Governor Northam has also announced the initial re-opening plan for Virginia’s K-12 schools. The plan will be comprised of three phases and local school divisions will have flexibility in determining when to apply for each phase. Currently, all schools are considered to be in phase one which allows for the opportunity to conduct in-person instruction for special education programs and childcare for working families. Phase two allows for limited in-person instruction for preschool through third grade, English Learner students, and summer camps in school settings. More information on this process can be found below.

This week, the Virginia Chamber is pleased to recognize Anthem for its significant contributions to support COVID-19 relief efforts, helping communities across the Commonwealth. Anthem’s deep roots in the community combined with its legacy and commitment to leadership, innovation and agility, have enabled the company to quickly and seamlessly work with local, state and federal officials, care providers, customers and community partners in the face of the pandemic.Since early March, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation has committed more than $1.9 million in grants, community support and associate donations to Virginia organizations on the frontlines of supporting local communities and families where COVID-19 relief is most needed. For their efforts, Anthem has been nationally recognized as one of the top businesses for employer responses to COVID-19 by Forbes. The article citing Anthem’s commitment of $50 million in relief funds, providing up to 80 hours of employee paid leave, waiving customers out-of-pocket costs for Covid-19 tests, and providing reimbursement of internet fees for hourly workers. More information on this week’s “Member Spotlight” can be found below.

Best regards,

Barry DuVal

Member Spotlight: Anthem

Anthem has been recognized as one of the top employers on Forbes’ “Top Employers Responses to Pandemic” list for their commitment of $50 million in relief funds, expansion of employee health benefits, and waiving customer out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 tests and treatments.  

“We know there is great fear and uncertainty among consumers right now, particularly when it comes to safe and affordable access to care,” Anthem CEO Gail Koziara Boudreaux said in an April call with analysts. Boudreaux contributed two months of her salary to the Anthem Foundation. 

The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation has committed more than $1.9 million in grants, community support and associate donations to Virginia organizations on the frontlines of supporting local communities and families where COVID-19 relief is most needed. Support has been provided to numerous groups and organizations including the UnitedWay’s Statewide Coronocirus Recovery Program, Virginia’s Feeding America Food Banks, the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, support of Boys and Girls Clubs, and Senior Services of Southeast Virginia. Additionally, Anthem has announced the extension of the emergency coverage policy, and planned premium credits back to groups and members.

Additional Areas of Community Support: 

  • The Anthem Foundation is matching 200 percent of associate donations to certain charities.
  • Launched the Anthem Medical Associate Volunteer Program, allowing associates with professional medical training to take paid leave and volunteer to serve on the frontline in communities in need.
  • Anthem CEO contributed two month’s salary to Anthem Foundation to support associate emergency relief fund, food banks, and protective equipment for healthcare workers in Indiana.
  • With their Association of 35 other independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, they have committed nearly $3 billion to ensure that more than 100 million Americans, along with care providers and hospitals, have access to necessary resources and support.
  • Providing virtual volunteer opportunities, including remote teaching and mailing cards to seniors faced with loneliness, to help associates safely give back to their communities.
  • Partnering with X Prize and other industry leaders to form a Global Pandemic Alliance to combat COVID-19 as well as prepare for future pandemics.
  • Engaging with key industry partners, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and America’s Health Insurance Plans, as well as state and federal lawmakers and regulators to help shape and guide policy decisions to support our members, customers, and care providers.

For more information, visit the Anthem: Coronavirus Resource Center