Phoenix ,
14:55 PM

JoyJars Delivered to Kids at Phoenix Children's Hospital

Olympic Swimmer Kaitlin Sandeno Hogan Joins BCBSAZ and the Jessie Rees Foundation to surprise patients with the delivery

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) Chief Strategy Officer Beth Ginzinger was joined by gold medal Olympian Kaitlin Sandeno Hogan to deliver JoyJars® to patients and families at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and care facilities in Arizona. The JoyJars® concept is made possible through the Jessie Rees Foundation, an organization that supports kids fighting cancer and their families.

BCBSAZ employees volunteered their time to stuff more than 1,200 JoyJars with small toys, games, and other items that would bring happiness to kids in the hospital. The JoyJars initiative is a key program of the foundation, which was started by 12-year-old Jessie Rees who lost her battle to cancer in 2012. During her courageous fight, Jessie decided to focus on helping other kids fighting cancer who couldn’t leave the hospital. This desire led to the creation of her fun-filled JoyJars and the Never Ever Give Up (aka: NEGU®) message.

“We are touched by the story of Jessie and the Rees family who established this foundation in her memory,” said Pam Kehaly, president and CEO of BCBSAZ. “We’re honored to support this program and our community, to help bring a bit of joy to these kids when they need it most.”

Hogan, a NEGU All-Star, a two-time Olympian and four-time Olympic medalist in swimming, was an extra-special surprise for kids at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, delivering the JoyJars to cancer patients in the facility. The remaining JoyJars will be shared with kids across the state through the winter season.

“We’re appreciative of BCBSAZ and Kaitlin for their support to carry on Jessie’s dream and encourage as many kids as possible here in Arizona,” said Erik Rees, CEO of the Jessie Rees Foundation and father of Jessie Rees. “We hope to spread the NEGU message and inspire more kindness in the world.”

BCBSAZ has long been dedicated to the community, supporting hundreds of organizations to inspire health for residents and families across the state. To learn more, 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 nearly 1.5 million customers. BCBSAZ, a not-for-profit company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The company employs nearly 1,500 people in its Phoenix, Chandler, Flagstaff, and Tucson offices. Through advanced clinical programs and community outreach, BCBSAZ is moving health forward. To learn more, visit