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Arizona heroes awarded for service through COVID-19 pandemic

PHOENIX – Feb. 10, 2021 – Blue Cross© Blue Shield© of Arizona (BCBSAZ) announces 30 Front Line Heroes selected for going above and beyond to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Winners were chosen among six categories – hospital healthcare workers, non-hospital healthcare workers, first responders, educators, essential service workers and volunteers. Each nomination was scored based on significant contributions made during COVID-19 in 2020, commitment to others and impact made in our community. 

Each winner has been awarded $1,000 as a token of appreciation for their hard work and dedication to the health of Arizona. In addition, one winner in each of the six categories was given the opportunity to select a local nonprofit to receive a $10,000 donation from BCBSAZ. The donations will help the selected nonprofits continue serving Arizonans in need during the pandemic. 

“We are truly inspired by the impactful stories we have come across through the hundreds of nominations that were received,” said Pam Kehaly, president and CEO of BCBSAZ. “We cannot thank the winners and all Front Line Heroes in Arizona enough, for their time, passion, and commitment in helping our state get through these difficult times.”

The top six Front Line Heroes are as follows:

· Amy Burke – Amy is a Registered Respiratory Therapist in Phoenix and was nominated under the hospital healthcare worker category for changing lives during the pandemic. Being a life support expert, she has seen firsthand the fragility of human life and she is honored to step up to be there for people in need. Amy selected the Southern Arizona Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for her donation.

· Jana Smith – Jana is the Executive Director at Phoenix ToolBox and was nominated under the essential service worker category for playing an important role during the pandemic by helping lend tools and equipment to local nonprofits, schools and government organizations. She is proud to help her community and is amazed to see the work that gets accomplished when the community comes together. Jana selected the Phoenix Toolbox for her donation. 

· Zaira Morales – Zaira is Clinical Administrator at St. Vincent de Paul and was nominated under the non-healthcare worker category for making an impact during the pandemic by assisting with the execution of launching a free COVID-19 testing center. She started her career as a volunteer, and since then has been carrying out her mission to help others and eliminate health inequality. Zaira selected the St. Vincent de Paul for her donation.

· Alicia Shields – Alicia is a Team Rubicon Volunteer and Registered Nurse, and was nominated under the volunteer category for her dedication in making a difference in other people’s lives. Since the beginning of COVID-19, she has volunteered her time at hospitals and emergency rooms to ensure COVID-19 patients are getting the best care possible. Alicia selected Team Rubicon for her donation.

· Lauren Holzer – Lauren is a teacher at Kyrene de los Niños Elementary School and was nominated under the educator category for her dedication to her students during the COVID-19 pandemic by putting their needs first and giving them the support they need. Lauren has always strived to find a career that she’s passionate about and has been able to find that through teaching. Lauren has chosen the Kyrene Foundation for her donation. 

· Kelley Mure – Kelley is a Senior Manager for Solider and Family Readiness for the Army National Guard, and was nominated under the first responder category for tirelessly working during the pandemic to help soldiers deploy, help their families put food on their tables and providing resources when needed. Throughout the pandemic, Kelley’s biggest accomplishment has been making a difference in others’ lives. Kelley selected Angels on Patrol for her donation.

For more information about the program and the recognized Front Line Heroes, please visit

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) is committed to helping Arizonans get healthier faster and stay healthier longer. With a focus on connecting people with the care they need, BCBSAZ offers health insurance and related services to more than 1.7 million customers. Through advanced clinical programs and community outreach, BCBSAZ is inspiring health in Arizona. BCBSAZ, a not-for-profit company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The company, and its subsidiaries, employ more than 2,400 people in its Phoenix, Chandler, Flagstaff, and Tucson offices. To learn more, visit