GuideWell Helping to Protect Frontline Health Care Workers

By: Karen Thompson, Enterprise Communications

The COVID-19 public health crisis has resulted in a critical shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including gloves, gowns, N95 respirators and especially face masks.

Our company immediately stepped up to address this shortage and the overall safety needs for hospitals, physicians and nurses in provider offices across Florida, the GuideWell Health family of health care workers (Sanitas, GuideWell Emergency Doctors and Diagnostic Medical Clinic staff), and for GuideWell employees.

Through several initiatives and partnerships, GuideWell, Florida Blue and the Florida Blue Foundation have identified specific needs, located manufacturers and suppliers, purchased and secured PPE, managed logistics and delivery of donated equipment, and provided grants for equipment.

Here are a few of the ways we’re working hard to keep our communities healthy:

Florida Blue and Fanatics

• The sports apparel company Fanatics is headquartered in Jacksonville and is a Florida Blue client. With professional sports on hiatus during the pandemic, Fanatics has shifted production at its manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania to make masks and gowns and announced a goal to produce one million pieces of PPE for national distribution.

• Florida Blue coordinated with our Fanatics contacts to secure initial and ongoing supplies of masks for hospitals in Florida.

• While Fanatics is paying to produce the PPE for this nationwide effort, specific to our partnership on behalf of hospitals in Florida, GuideWell/Florida Blue is handling logistics and shipment and coordinating details with hospitals.

• To date, we have delivered more than 25,000 masks to a series of hospitals across northeast Florida, and are now coordinating additional shipments to hospital partners in our key regions of West, Central and South Florida.

Florida Academy of Family Physicians

• Florida Blue responded to an urgent request from family physicians in Florida with a $30,000 grant from our Florida Blue Foundation to the Florida Academy of Family Physicians Foundation (FAFP) for 8,200 masks. We distributed and shipped the masks to 500 family physicians in the Panhandle, as well as West, South, Central and Northeast Florida.

• GuideWell then coordinated logistics and delivery for FAFP of another 7,200 masks, to include 200 additional Florida physicians.

• That’s a total of more than 15,000 masks to 700 FAFP family physician practices.

GuideWell Health Clinical Partners

• GuideWell Health includes multiple companies with operations and clinicians that have continued seeing patients during the COVID-19 crisis. A special company workgroup has been monitoring the safety needs of these frontline health care workers.

• 30,000 N95 masks (5,000+ each) were ordered and delivered to Diagnostic Clinic Medical Group (DCMG), Florida Health Care Plans (FHCP), GuideWell Emergency Medicine Doctors (GWEMD/Crucial Care), Capital Health Plan (CHP) and the Sanitas medical centers across Florida. Additionally, 1,500 masks were sent to PopHealthCare.

• To date, we’ve sent more than 30,000 masks to our GuideWell Health clinical colleagues.

GuideWell Employees

• In addition to supplying health workers, Florida Blue has partnered with Jacksonville Jaguars to secure masks for employees who must report to work at the Deerwood Campus Complex during the quarantine. In addition, Corporate Services and Procurement has ordered 20,000 washable masks and 50,000 disposable surgical masks for employees for upcoming use.

• To date, we’ve ordered more than 70,000 masks for employees and are determining the near term and longer-term health and safety needs of our employees as part of the overall re-occupancy strategy.


• The Florida Blue Market Presidents and Local Presence teams, along with the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Foundation teams, are exploring opportunities with partners to provide much-needed supplies in the face of this pandemic.

• We’re partnering with the JAX Chamber, City of Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars and other large companies to provide 500,000 masks to Jacksonville residents in underserved communities.

• Working with the Miami HEAT, Miami Marlins, Jacksonville Jaguars and other community/non-profit/sports partners across the state, we’re providing masks, pill boxes, reusable grocery bags, hand sanitizer and other important supplies for both employees and communities.

Recently, President and CEO Pat Geraghty talked about the efforts our enterprise is taking to keep frontline health care heroes protected with masks. You can watch the video here.