News November 8, 2021

Saskatchewan Blue Cross makes three-year commitment to 211 Saskatchewan

Today, Saskatchewan Blue Cross is proud to announce it has extended its 30-year partnership with United Way Regina and United Way of Saskatoon & Area to include a significant investment in 211 Saskatchewan.

By committing $75,000 over the next three years ($25,000 per year), Saskatchewan Blue Cross is helping to ensure Saskatchewan residents can continue to depend on 211 Saskatchewan for comprehensive and up-to-date health information for years to come.

When an individual or family needs help, finding the right services can be complex. Navigating the available support networks can be overwhelming, confusing, and a significant roadblock to getting help. 211 Saskatchewan makes it easy to access non-emergency community, social, non-clinical health, and government services across the province.

“Whether it’s seeking assistance with basic needs like food, shelter, and employment, or looking for help with addictions or mental health, 211 helps clear the path to reliable information and support,” says Shelley Vandenberg, Saskatchewan Blue Cross President and CEO. “Investing in this valuable service is one way we’re helping to improve access to health-related information and increase health literacy in our province.”

“United Way is proud to lead 211 in Saskatchewan. Thanks to the generous support from Saskatchewan Blue Cross, together we can ensure that people can connect to services across the province in the way that is most accessible to them,” says Kristin Nelson, Director, 211 Saskatchewan. “By supporting 211, Saskatchewan Blue Cross is contributing to building stronger communities. This partnership will contribute to continued services and ensure we are able to effectively support people in navigating the programs and services available to them in our province.”

Saskatchewan Blue Cross is also the presenting sponsor of the United Way of Saskatoon & Area’s Day of Caring program and supports United Way through an annual workplace giving campaign. To date, the organization and its employees have donated more than $1 million to United Way through its workplace campaigns.

About 211 Saskatchewan

211 Saskatchewan is available to anyone who needs help and is particularly valuable to vulnerable and at-risk communities. They offer free, confidential service by telephone, text, or online chat 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Their services also include a searchable website with more than 6,000 listings.

Phone interpretation is available in more than 175 languages, including 17 Indigenous languages. It’s the most accessible navigation tool available in Saskatchewan, serving as a comprehensive hub of information while also providing personalized support to help understand it.

Health literacy: a strategic focus

Driven by a mission to empower communities on their journey to whole health and wellness, Saskatchewan Blue Cross is committed to improving health literacy in Saskatchewan.

Healthy communities are prosperous communities and individual wellness can be improved by informed decision making. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same access to information and services, nor do they have the same capacity to understand it. By focusing its community investment on health literacy, Saskatchewan Blue Cross aims to impart change on a fundamental level.

Today’s investment in 211 Saskatchewan is just one of the ways in which Saskatchewan Blue Cross has demonstrated this commitment.

In September, the Saskatchewan Blue Cross Indigenous Bursary was launched. Through Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures program, three $5,000 bursaries are available to Indigenous students pursuing a PhD, master’s, or bachelor’s degree in social work in Saskatchewan. Access to healthcare is a significant issue for many remote indigenous communities, and Indigenous peoples are underrepresented in the healthcare profession. This initiative aims to close the education gap while improving access and quality of care in Indigenous communities.

Saskatchewan Blue Cross also recently announced support for the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s Vaccine Community Champions program. With a focus on vulnerable communities, the program includes working with trusted community leaders to serve as vaccine champions, helping to promote the positive health benefits of COVID-19 vaccination and improving attendance at community vaccination clinics.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Cheryl de Villiers Director
Marketing and External Affairs
Saskatchewan Blue Cross