Members Making A Difference:
In this unprecedented time, our members have stepped up to display incredible generosity to our community. To recognize these efforts, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce has created the hashtag #SCisOurBusiness, to reflect this magnanimity.
Want to Recognize a Business for Going Above and Beyond?
- BlueCross BlueShield of SC
- Midlands Tech
- Thermo Fisher
- Wells Fargo
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and its subsidiary BlueChoice HealthPlan announced that effective immediately, the insurers will waive all out-of-pocket costs related to in-network COVID-19 medical treatment for members, through June 1.
- Members benefiting from this expansion of coverage are individual policyholders, Medicare Advantage plan members, and Medicaid members, as well as fully insured employer group customers. In addition, the companies are working closely with their self-funded ERISA customers to ensure that those customers’ needs are also being met.
- This action is the latest in a series of coverage expansion efforts taken by the insurers in the midst of the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Earlier, the companies announced that they would cover the provider visit and testing to diagnose COVID-19 at no cost to the member, waiving members’ copays, co-insurance and deductibles. In addition, the organizations waived prior authorizations for COVID-19 related conditions and treatment. And, most recently, to support access to providers while encouraging social distancing recommendations, BlueCross and BlueChoice® members received free access to telehealth services, including behavioral health consultations.
- According to David Pankau, President, and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, the pandemic is requiring all of us to help each other. He said, “Because we are in the middle of an unprecedented health crisis, we wanted to further support our members during this challenging and stressful time. Removing some of the worry associated with costs was one way we could do that. ”
- Members who have questions about their coverage should call the customer service number on their ID cards.
- On March 27, President Trump announced Boeing would offer the use of the Large Cargo Freighter, more commonly known as the Dreamlifter, to help transport critically needed supplies to healthcare professionals. Four Dreamlifters are operating worldwide. The Dreamlifter is a converted freighter designed to transport the eight major assemblies of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner from suppliers around the world to the 787 final assembly sites in Everett, WA, and North Charleston, SC.
- As part of this mission, one of Boeing’s Dreamlifters landed at Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport today to bring personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline healthcare professionals battling COVID-19 in South Carolina. Boeing transported 1.5 million surgical face masks from China now bound for Prisma Health team members, patients, and visitors in South Carolina. Boeing donated the cost of the mission transport.
- Governor Henry McMaster, US Senator Lindsey Graham, US Senator Tim Scott, Congressman Jeff Duncan, Congressman William Timmons, and Lindsay Leonard with the Boeing Company made remarks as the shipment was delivered to the tarmac.
BP announced that it will provide fuel discounts to first responders, nurses, doctors, and hospital staff as a thank you for being on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for helping to keep our communities healthy and safe.
- The fuel discounts are available exclusively at BP and Amoco stations.
- To receive the fuel discount, individuals can visit bp.com/localheroes to register. They will be authenticated through a link with ID.me and will be issued a 50 cents-off per gallon code via text or email to use on their next fill-up at BP or Amoco stations in the United States.
- BP will begin to distribute codes during the month of April and continue until the codes are exhausted.
- BP will be promoting this offer at retail stations, online at bp.com, social media websites, and via email to BPme Rewards members. Consumers are encouraged to support local heroes by sharing the link with any first responder, doctor, nurse, or hospital worker and submitting a personal “thank you” by sharing a post on social media and using #bpSupportsLocalHeroes or #giveTMGS.
BP announced that they have teamed up with FedEx and Alaska Airlines to provide jet fuel to help speed the delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essential goods nationwide.
- BP will supply 3 million gallons of jet fuel to FedEx charter flights and Alaska Airlines at no cost to speed up the delivery of essential goods and get supplies where they need to go. BP will offset the carbon emissions of all donated fuel deliveries through its Target Neutral program.
- The donations to FedEx Express, supplied by Air BP, will be used solely for international air transportation to and from the US to deliver critical medical supplies, including gloves, gowns, ventilators, and masks, that support the efforts to fight COVID-19.
- Supplies will be directed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to communities in greatest need based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- The fuel will supply more than 45 FedEx Express charter flights for HHS.
In response to the national health emergency, Midlands Technical College (MTC) is answering calls for help. The college’s health care program leaders have been gathering supplies normally used for instruction that are critically needed now by the medical community.
- MTC has made five significant donations across the Midlands:
- Prisma Health, S.C. DHEC, Lexington Medical Center, Lexington Extended Care, and the Heritage at Lowman in Chapin.
- The donations consist of 29,500 gloves, 5000 thermometer covers, 1150 surgical masks, 30+ pairs of goggles, five disposable gowns, two 32 oz. bags of hand sanitizer and two surgical shield masks.
- The demand for antibacterial cleaning supplies continues to climb in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and healthcare institutions are looking for effective alternatives to traditional solutions. To fill this need, Spartanburg-based Contec, Inc., the industry leader in critical cleaning products and cleanroom supplies, is scaling up production of its Sporicidin® brand disinfectant, most often used for mold and water damage remediation, and turned to local manufacturer Milliken & Company to help produce mass quantities.
- “Spartanburg companies are rising to meet the global challenges brought on by COVID-19,” said Halsey M. Cook, president and CEO of Milliken & Company. “Partnering with Contec, Inc. was a natural fit, and gave Milliken the opportunity to quickly reconfigure our manufacturing capabilities and rapidly solve problems for our customers and communities.”
- Sporicidin production at Milliken began on Tuesday, May 12, after a record ramp-up of only four weeks. Typical similar partnerships require three to six months to arrange.
- Milliken quickly undertook an intensive technical process to manufacture Sporicidin brand disinfectant. This included gaining regulatory approval from the EPA, setting up raw material supply chain partners, modifying manufacturing equipment, arranging inventory storage, and designing new environmental, health and safety training and protocols to safely produce a quality disinfectant. Milliken’s research, development and manufacturing expertise enabled the company to achieve all requirements rapidly and solve challenges that come with scaling up the production of any product.
- “Milliken immediately came to mind when we decided to bring on a new manufacturing partner,” shared Jack McBride, Contec, Inc. CEO. “Milliken is a trusted, key community player with the mass production, quality systems and speed-to-market capabilities needed to help us provide critical cleaning solutions to healthcare facilities without delay.”
Nephron has led the charge in demonstrating how to be responsive in helping our community during this pandemic.
- Donation of 12,480 vials of product to Americares (Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Solution- 0.042% 25 CT. and 0.021% 30 CT., Sodium Chloride Inhalation Solution USP 3%)
- Added new product lines to increase production to nearly 50 million doses from their 120 million capacity for their life-saving medication
- Production of its own hand sanitizer. A portion of the first batch was donated to the Columbia VA hospital
- Work with the FDA to get 6 additional product lines running, to ensure health systems, pharmacies, and other facilities have the tools they need to treat patients
Hear more from Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy, in our Members Making a Difference Video Series
- The first participants have been dosed in the U.S. in the Phase 1/2 clinical trial for the BNT162 vaccine program to prevent COVID-19 infection.
- Stage 1 will enroll up to 360 healthy subjects into two age cohorts (18-55 and 65-85 years of age). The first subjects immunized in Stage 1 of the study will be healthy adults 18-55 years of age. Older adults will only be immunized with a given dose level of a vaccine candidate once testing of that candidate and dose level in younger adults has provided initial evidence of safety and immunogenicity.
- The first stage of the study is taking place at four sites across the U.S. – NYU School of Medicine; University of Maryland School of Medicine; University of Rochester School of Medicine; and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Pfizer plans to rapidly scale up the number of sites across the country as they move into later stages of development.
- In anticipation of a successful clinical development program, Pfizer and BioNTech are working to scale up production for global supply. Pfizer plans to activate its extensive manufacturing network and invest at risk in an effort to produce an approved COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible for those most in need around the world. The breadth of this program should allow the production of millions of vaccine doses in 2020, increasing to hundreds of millions in 2021.
- Pfizer-owned sites in three U.S. states (Massachusetts, Michigan, and Missouri) and Puurs, Belgium have been identified as manufacturing centers for COVID-19 vaccine production, with more sites to be selected. BioNTech and Pfizer will work jointly to commercialize the vaccine worldwide upon regulatory approval.
- Florence, SC locations (part of the Pharma Service Group) have manufactured and donated drums of 70% Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA). Many local healthcare agencies are running extremely low on hand sanitizer and disinfectant. The IPA solution can be used as a disinfectant spray and/or as a hand sanitizer. To date, they have donated IPA to the Medical University of South Carolina (Carolina Hospital) and Florence County Emergency Medical Services. In addition, they can manufacture more and can deliver it within 24 hours of the request.
- Thermo Fisher Scientific OneFlorence donated 5,000 N95 respirators and 2000 nitrile exam gloves to Florence County Emergency Management. The respirators and gloves were picked up quickly distributed by Florence County Emergency Management to local hospitals, clinics and emergency response organizations.
- Wells Fargo announced that they will cash stimulus payment checks for non-customers in their branches, with no fees charged. They also announced that, for 30 days, they will pause the collection of negative balances existing at the time when stimulus payments are deposited, allowing customers to access the full amount of their payment. Both of these decisions are aimed at doing their part to help Americans access their stimulus payment funds as quickly as possible.
- In addition to the steps they’re taking today, they have taken a number of actions to support their employees, customers, and communities. They are suspending residential property foreclosure sales, evictions, and involuntary automobile repossessions. On a case-by-case basis, they are offering fee waivers, payment deferrals, and other expanded assistance for the credit card, auto, mortgage, small business, and personal lending customers who contact the bank. To support workers, they are providing cash payments of up to $1,600 to front-line employees and expanding benefits to assist impacted employees.