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Twelve Highmark Health employees named Jefferson Awards winners for public service

PITTSBURGH — In a ceremony this week, the Highmark Health organization honored dedicated employees for their outstanding volunteer work by presenting them with Jefferson Awards for Public Service and a monetary contribution for the nonprofit organization of their choice.

Highmark Health is one of 27 U.S. organizations that serve as Jefferson Awards Champions, bringing to the workplace the highest honor for public service, established more than four decades ago by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and other public figures.

As a Jefferson Awards Champion, Highmark Health annually recognizes employees who reflect the awards’ value that each citizen is responsible for working to improve life in their communities through economic participation, public service, volunteerism and other efforts.

“Each year, when we honor employees through the Jefferson Awards, I am overwhelmed by their level of public service. This year, I am amazed — and inspired — once again,” said Dan Onorato, executive vice president, Highmark Health. “As Highmark Health works to build healthier communities, we applaud the efforts of dedicated employees like our new Jefferson Awards winners. They are everyday heroes, working diligently to better the lives of friends and neighbors within their communities.”

Cathy Battle, a respiratory therapist for Forbes Hospital, part of the Allegheny Health Network, was selected as Highmark Health’s overall winner and will represent the company at the National Jefferson Awards Conference in Washington, D.C. in June.

The Highmark Health employees honored at yesterday’s ceremony, listed with employer and hometown, are:

  • Thomas Ahl, HVHC Inc. (San Antonio, Texas)
  • Cathy Battle, Forbes Hospital, Allegheny Health Network (Monroeville, Pa.)
  • Rhonda Bolding, Highmark Health (Kennedy Township, Pa.)
  • Shannon Bucci, West Penn Hospital, Allegheny Health Network (Hampton Township, Pa.)
  • Rick Francis, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia (Parkersburg, W.Va.)
  • Hector Gonzalez, Visionworks (Miami, Fla.)
  • Myla Granadino, Highmark Inc. (Robinson Township, Pa.)
  • Cindy Harter, Allegheny General Hospital, Allegheny Health Network (Cranberry Township, Pa.)
  • M. Nathalie F. Henchey, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia (Hurricane, W.Va.)
  • Richelle Lehman, Forbes Hospital, Allegheny Health Network (Penn Township, Pa.)
  • Meggan Merritt, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia (Harrisville, W.Va.)
  • Chivon Murray, United Concordia (Tower City, Pa.)

About the Jefferson Awards Foundation
The Jefferson Awards Foundation is America’s gold seal of public service. Like their namesake, they believe engaging in social good inspires purpose – and drives lasting solutions for our communities and the nation. Their five programs accelerate and amplify public service. JAF delivers tools for collective engagement and empowers anyone to make an impact. They train and activate Americans to take action and to be leaders in schools, communities, workplaces and the world. The Jefferson Awards Foundation is the country’s most prestigious and longest standing public service award. With celebration, they say thank you. In sharing the stories of America’s best citizens, they empower them to do more and inspire all to take action. To learn more about the Jefferson Awards Foundation, visit: or engage with our community on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

About Highmark Health
Highmark Health, a Pittsburgh, PA based enterprise that employs more than 35,000 people nationwide and serves more than 50 million Americans in all 50 states, is the third largest integrated health care delivery and financing network in the nation. Highmark Health is the parent company of Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, and HM Health Solutions. Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates provide health insurance to 5.2 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware as well as dental insurance, vision care and related health products through a national network of diversified businesses that include United Concordia Companies, HM Insurance Group, Davis Vision and Visionworks. Allegheny Health Network is the parent company of an integrated delivery network that includes eight hospitals, more than 2,500 affiliated physicians, ambulatory surgery centers, an employed physician organization, home and community-based health services, a research institute, a group purchasing organization, and health and wellness pavilions in western Pennsylvania. HM Health Solutions focuses on meeting the information technology platform and other business needs of the Highmark Health enterprise as well as unaffiliated health insurance plans by providing proven business processes, expert knowledge and integrated cloud-based platforms. To learn more, please visit

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