Most of the money will be used to restore health services in Paradise, Ca., in Butte County, which was nearly completely leveled by last fall’s fires.
More than 14,000 buildings and 85 lives were lost due to the fires.
“We are deeply saddened by the Camp Fire tragedy, and truly inspired by the courage of all the first responders and medical providers including physicians and staff at Paradise Medical Group,” Paul Markovich, Blue Shield’s president and CEO, said in a statement today.
Paradise Medical Group, which serves about 10,000 area residents, has relocated temporarily to rented space in nearby city of Chico, where the practice’s doctors now see their patients. The largest of their three original buildings in Paradise was destroyed in the fire and the remaining two buildings have limited clinic space.
Blue Shield will assist in renovating the remaining facilities to maximize the clinic capacity. Rebuilding the larger building will take longer, but plans are underway.
Blue Shield has also reached an agreement with Teladoc Health to provide virtual care during this transition period. Teladoc will serve all Paradise Medical Group patients, regardless of their health plan. Via phone or mobile app, patients can directly connect with their physicians, no matter where either is located, and receive diagnosis and treatment for an array of conditions.
“Paradise Medical Group is extremely thankful for Blue Shield of California’s generous support that has assisted us to care for our patients and our community during and after this catastrophe,” said Richard Thorp, M.D., President of Paradise Medical Group.
“This support has not only helped us meet immediate financial and operational needs, but also is helping us rebuild our community with an even better care delivery system. Paradise Medical Group possibly would not have survived without Blue Shield’s assistance.”
Thorp added: “Most of our physicians and staff homes were destroyed in the Camp Fire and many of our staff had harrowing escapes from Paradise. During this difficult time, Blue Shield has been an answer to our prayers.”