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BlueCross Katrina Relief Efforts Earn Recognition

May 10, 2006

Columbia, S.C. -- The United Way of the Midlands honored Palmetto GBA executive Rick Wade with a Community Impact Award for his work in organizing care for 147 Katrina evacuees by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and its subsidiaries.

Wade was one of five people who received the awards at the United Way of the Midlands’ Community Assembly meeting in Columbia. The winners were selected based on their commitment to volunteerism and made an impact to causes, programs or projects that support human service needs in the Midlands during 2005. They worked with the United Way of the Midlands or a certified partner agency.

Wade, business development director for Palmetto GBA, a subsidiary of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, led the organization of on site services for 147 Katrina evacuees in two local hotels. In addition to coordinating counseling, medical services, job applications, financial benefits, schools and training, he provided instruction to other hotel sponsors based on this best practice model.

The United Way described him as "a community builder, a true public servant and proven leader who can bring people together to work for the common good. This work assured comprehensive and compassionate services were provided wherever these guests to Columbia were housed. Like many of the volunteers who served during the disaster, he gave his time tirelessly without expectation of recognition."

United Way of the Midlands serves central South Carolina.

Palmetto GBA began work nearly 40 years ago administering Medicare benefits. Today it provides transaction processing, technological connectivity, customer service call centers, professional education and training, clinical decision management, accounting models and e-commerce. Palmetto GBA employs over 3,500 people at its headquarters in Columbia, S.C., and regional offices in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina.

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.

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