Public Invited to Celebrate Blue Cross’s 60th Year

first_imgFor Immediate Release: Contact: Leigh TofferiSeptember 7, 2004 (802) 371-3205Public Invited to Celebrate Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermonts 60th Year of Serving VermontersBerlin, VT – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is inviting the public to join in celebration of the organizations 60th anniversary offering quality nondiscriminatory health benefits in Vermont. A family oriented event featuring games, refreshments and music, will be held at the Round Barn at Shelburne Museum on September 18, 2004 from 10:00AM to 12:00 noon.The Vermont observance coincides with the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield systems 75th anniversary this year. What began as an innovative prepaid health care plan for loggers and teachers has evolved into a national, technology-driven system that provides health benefits and financing for millions of Americans delivered through independent, community-based, local companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont.The Vermont Plans origins can be traced back to 1944 when legislative action in this state cleared the way for Blue Cross of New Hampshire to begin offering hospital coverage here. Physician benefits through Blue Shield of New Hampshire followed shortly, and both hospital and physician benefits were combined in 1975 when the separate Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans merged to become Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Hampshire and Vermont.Vermont representatives on that companys board of directors voted to form their own Plan in 1980 that became known as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont. The newVermont-based Plan completed its transition to an independent organization when it began to process all claims and deliver services exclusively in Vermont in 1989.A more detailed timeline of the organizations eventful 60-year history is available in an interactive display on the companys web site at www.bcbsvt.com(link is external). To RSVP for the anniversary celebration, call Bonnie Brassard at (802) 371-3486 or e-mail her at [email protected](link sends e-mail).Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the state’s oldest and largest private health insurer, providing coverage for about 180,000 Vermonters. It employs over 350 Vermonters at its headquarters in Berlin and branch office in Williston, and offers group and individual health plans to Vermonters. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.last_img read more

Tropical Storm Isaac in Haiti, Nearly Three Years After the Earthquake

first_img Water, food, medicine, blankets and tents. Haiti lacked all of it at first, when chaos and surprise seized the people of Haiti during the earthquake that devastated the country in January 2010. Afterward, supplies were abundant. Aid arrived by the tons from every corner of the planet, but little by little it started to accumulate, because Haiti did not have official distribution channels or proper mechanisms in place to deliver the assistance. It did not have a contingency plan for emergencies. No one knew where they should be distributing the necessary products, and there was no organized manner to respond to the people still crying out for help. On August 25, 2012 everything was different. When Tropical Storm Isaac started to hit the Haitian coast, more than 14,000 people across the country, mainly in the western and eastern parts of the island, were already evacuated thanks to the Haitian government and its international partners, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which anticipated the possible damage. In the history of the country, this was the first preventive evacuation led by the Haitian government. The evacuees were already identified as members of vulnerable groups, such as refugees residing in camps, children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities, according to a statement from the Haitian government. These planned and organized evacuations were held throughout the day on August 24, a day before the storm made landfall. Additionally, many urgent evacuations were made during the night and early morning of August 25, while the weather conditions worsened. After the storm, a prompt and accurate damage assessment identified the most serious problems, and gave immediate assistance to people whose lives were at the greatest risk and required urgent attention. On August 26, the United Nations (UN) reported a toll of 19 deaths and 2,350 homes destroyed. Though these are not small, they are a stark contrast to the toll left by the earthquake of 2010, which took the lives of more than 200,000, and about 2.5 million homeless, according to figures from the UN. To assess Tropical Storm Isaac, the Haitian government and USAID used a team of experts in disaster response; all of which helped in the preparation of the storm, and are now determining the damages it caused, as well as where and what kind of humanitarian aid is needed. Preliminary reports indicate that the impact of the storm was more significant in Port-au-Prince and the southeastern departments of the country. From day one, humanitarian organizations were distributing emergency supplies to the needy, including water, food, personal hygiene packs, blankets, and plastic sheeting, among other items and necessities. The difference now is that all these resources were already in-country, ready to be used in incidents like this. Due in large part to the professional response and organization of the Haitian government before, during, and after Tropical Storm Isaac, countless and priceless lives have been saved. Lesson learned. By Dialogo August 30, 2012last_img read more

GECOM’s work programme, timelines ‘are slipping into muddy waters

first_imgDear Editor,With Local Government Elections (LGE) scheduled for November 12, 2018, there is a tremendous intensification of community activities and enquiries, as residents, groups and other interested stakeholders search for clarity on a number of issues, which if not resolved objectively, are likely to negatively impact the credibility of results in any future election.GECOM’s Chairman, Justice (Ret’d) James Patterson, earlier made reference of the serious allegations of what took place at the 2015 Regional and General Elections. He also spoke about trust, accountability, transparency and people confidence in the election process, although there is not much that has been made public to our citizenry, as it relates which substantial or meaningful corrective actions the Commission plans to institute, towards realising these ideals. This in itself is an indictment, vis a vis necessary public confidence.In the same vein, the Chairman’s recent denial of a meeting with the United Nations (UN) Risk Assessment Team is very much disappointing and unacceptable. The tremendous hardships that our people are facing demand that every effort is placed by GECOM to deliver credible procedures and results from free and fair Local Government Elections.Notably, Chairman Justice (Rt’d) James Patterson’s recent rejection of an evaluation by the UN Team is typified outright lawlessness. In particular, it signals the genuine lack of intent and transparency commitment to the UN, which is also a credible International Institution often looked upon to recognise the results of elections. The lack of sincerity conveyed is evident, in the face of recent revelations that he had silently engaged the same institution to provide Technical Information Technology assistance.The situation smacks the highest level of hypocrisy and all citizens must join in demanding that all the processes be transparent. There must be public rejection to all such attempts or systems that can lead to rigged or less than convincing elections results to participants and observers.Although being clearly aware of the examination of very serious GECOM issues and subsequent recommendations possible charges in some instances by the Auditor General, who recommended. The Chairman’s actions/non-actions under the circumstance, seems to be strongly connected with the ‘gerrymandering’ by the controlling People’s National Congress arm of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change coalition, which is now having a serious effect on the Election process, and the functioning of Local Government Councils.Fixed boundaries issues in several Local Government Constituencies (LGC) have been a manipulated situation which needs to be resolved in several areas. We can ill afford to have residents voting from one constituency voting for representatives in another. Further, the Communities Minister is giving GECOM a basket to fetch water. Minister Ronald Bulkan announced that there will be 16 constituencies’ changes in 14 Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and nine new Local Authority Areas. To date, GECOM is still to have consultations and notify the legally approved or specific boundaries. The candidates must be fully aware of the specific boundaries in each Constituency, before they can check the electoral lists and then extract the Candidates’ names from the Voters List. For the Local Government Elections, GECOM must provide a voters list according to each Constituency It is clear that after the last period of continuous registration and the last Claims and Objections, the GECOM Secretariat was supposed to produce a Preliminary Voters List for the Commissioners to peruse and make available to the political parties. This is still forthcoming, and it squeezes the readiness of interested parties since there is no definite timeline when it will be provided.It is important and imperative that this list be made available for Local Government Elections according to constituency. For this to happen then the stakeholders must be clear about the ‘boundaries’ and the Voters List must be thoroughly checked to make sure that all the candidates and ‘backers’ of the respective lists are in the correct place. There seems to be serious deficiencies at GECOM or a deliberate intention to frustrate the ‘stakeholders’ in the up-coming LGE.This situation is very serious and GECOM ‘Work Programme’ and ‘Timelines ‘are slipping into muddy waters’. This level of incompetency or deliberate action to hurry some process will certainly leads to corruption.Sincerely,Neil Kumarlast_img read more