Acceptance Speech by Peter Long, President & CEO

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Acceptance Speech by Peter Long, President & CEO
Blue Shield of California Foundation ● 2015 NCRP Impact Awardee for Corporate Foundation
Acceptance Speech by Peter Long, President & CEO
We are truly honored to be recognized by NCRP, and humbled
to be here tonight among such an impressive group of colleagues
and past award-winners.
Many of our foundation staff, several Trustees, and Paul
Markovich – the CEO of our corporate funder Blue Shield – are
here with us this evening. Their presence further reflects the
depth and breadth of our gratitude to be nominated and
recognized by our peers. Thank each of you for coming tonight.
Some of you may know that Blue Shield of California
Foundation has been committed to making progress on the
issues of healthcare equity and domestic violence since 2002.
Our mission straddles these two important areas and we’ve seen positive outcomes on
both sides. To demonstrate that, I’d like to share one story and one example.
Several years ago, Brenda Solorzano – our Chief Program Director - and I were sharing
the work of the foundation with a group of Fellows from the Greenlining Institute.
Instead of just walking through powerpoint slides, we had a lively conversation for
almost two hours.
When we finally asked if there were any more questions, a young man slowly raised his
hand and said, “I don’t get it. I don’t want to agree with you… Here we are in this fancy
building downtown, listening to a white guy in a suit whose foundation is funded by a
health insurance company…
Yet, I find myself agreeing with all of the work that you’re doing, and can see how it fits
with my own beliefs and work to create greater equity across California. So what gives?”
In response, I said: Though we may use different words or have different strategies, we
are striving for the same thing.
And that’s a healthier, safer California.
A quick example of how we’re working to achieve that starts with the passage of the
Affordable Care Act.
At that time, we saw an opportunity to connect our healthcare and domestic violence
grantmaking, thanks to new provisions under reform that extend coverage for women’s
preventive care to include screening for domestic violence.
We’re now supporting new cross-sector partnerships across California and bridging the
divide between fields. By closing this gap and forging new collaborations, we’re helping
to ensure that no door is the wrong door for survivors of domestic violence and building
a more comprehensive system of care for California’s most vulnerable.
Today, a woman in San Diego will be asked by her healthcare provider if she is safe in
her relationship. If says is no, she will be immediately referred to a local domestic
violence organization and can be transferred directly there to get help.
The partnership that was forged between these providers gives her support and options
that were not available two years ago.
She escapes abuse, and can create a better life, because her doctor asked her the right
question, and knew where to find the right answers.
This is why we do this work.
Thank you, again, to NCRP for recognizing us, and thank you to everyone in this room
who’s leading incredible, meaningful work through philanthropy every single day. We
accept this award as an honor and a challenge to do even more, and do it even better in
partnership with all of you! Thank you.

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