Adelante Development Center, a nonprofit that supports people with disabilities and seniors across New Mexico, received a $20,000 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) to help the organization’s direct support professionals meet the increased demands of delivering personal care to vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grant came from a larger $250,000 donation to United Way of Central New Mexico through BCBSNM’s $1 million COVID-19 Community Collaborative Grant Fund, which supports nonprofit organizations throughout the state that focus on areas such as child and senior care, health care access, and homelessness and housing.
Adelante operates nearly 20 homes for people with disabilities and provides assisted living services for seniors — people who are at greater risk of complications from coronavirus. Adelante’s direct support professionals provide these community members with essential, hands-on care, which can include helping people get dressed, eat, take their medications and other daily activities.
“This work is truly valued by the clients getting services, but it does put workers at a greater risk than many other fields during this pandemic,” said Adelante President and CEO Mike Kivitz. “Adelante values this work and knows it is essential, but, as a nonprofit, we cannot always reward these employees to the extent we would like.”
The grant to Adelante provides direct support professionals and their families with assistance for basic needs — such as food, clothing and medication — in addition to providing supplementary pay for working amid increased risk. The funds also help Adelante cover the unexpected costs of purchasing extra cleaning and sanitizing supplies and personal protective equipment.
“BCBSNM is dedicated to helping our fellow New Mexicans, and we are proud to offer support to Adelante in the fight against COVID-19,” said Janice Torrez, vice president of external affairs at BCBSNM. “We are confident that this investment will make an impact for the community served by Adelante. Their direct service professionals are working tirelessly during this pandemic to ensure that personal care is a top priority.”
Adelante is one of the largest employers of direct service staff in the state with more than 300 employees on the frontlines, caring for others amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“We, as a community, need caring, capable people in this field,” Kivitz said. “This funding to support direct service staff is a great way to say thank you and to ensure that the care vulnerable people need continues to be provided and rewarded.”
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico is one of the largest commercial health insurers in New Mexico with more than 600,000 New Mexicans carrying a Blue Cross and Blue Shield card. Since 1940, BCBSNM has been committed to promoting the health and wellness of its members and communities through accessible, cost-effective, quality health care. BCBSNM is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.