Associates in Action: CSG Associates Support Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Efforts

By Sarahi Castillo

Several rounds of heavy rain moved across Eastern Kentucky from July 26 to July 30, causing torrential flooding and devasting damage. In the wake of the flooding, many CSG Associates have pledged to help donate and assist those in need of help. CSG is proud to highlight the excellent work that our Associates have contributed toward the relief in the wake of the catastrophic flooding.

AARP Kentucky has compiled a list of nonprofit organizations, government agencies, shelter organizations by county and helpful links to other groups that are accepting donations, organizing volunteers and offering supplies to victims and their families. Anyone affected by the storm can access AARP’s link via

Amazon’s Disaster Relief Team responded to requests from- Save the Children, Feeding America, The American Red Cross and local organizations to donate over 580,000 relief items, including ready-to-eat meals, water, shelter items, solar chargers, lights, backpacks, pack-and-plays, strollers, baby tubs, baby carriers and diapers.

AT&T and the AT&T Foundation donated $50,000 to the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund and Volunteers of America. Their retail employees also provided phones and charging resources for use by residents who are housed at area shelters like Jackson command post, as well as hygiene kits. AT&T volunteers are supporting the Crisis Cleanup Hotline and FirstNet Response Operations Group by connecting residents with local relief organizations and first responders. Their FirstNet team deployed a combined total of 12 temporary mobile towers and generators to several Eastern Kentucky communities including Buckhorn Lake State Park in Perry County and the Knott County Community Center in Leburn to serve displaced residents and first responders. To further help individuals and families in the area, a text-to-give campaign was launched to collect donations for the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky Crisis Fund. AT&T is also waiving overage charges to provide unlimited talk, text, and data for affected customers.

HCA Healthcare has committed $400,000 for Kentucky flood relief efforts. They will contribute $100,000 to the American Red Cross, $100,000 to the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund, $100,000 in colleague matching gifts and relief grants to Galen College Nursing students with disaster needs and $100,000 through in-kind donations to meet critical community needs.

Procter & Gamble’s Response Team, in partnership with Matthew 25: Ministries, is mobilizing the “Tide Loads of Hope Mobile Laundry Unit” to support relief and recovery efforts by providing free, full-service laundry as well as distributing free personal care kits with everyday essentials such as cleaning products and hygiene products in affected areas.

Teladoc will be providing free, 24/7 general medical telehealth visits to residents, first responders and others. However, individuals who are displaced within the area due to the flooding can seek treatment from a licensed health care professional for non-emergency illness by calling 855-225-5032.

The American Bankers Association, or ABA, will be contributing $25,000 to support flood relief efforts in Kentucky. ABA is donating the $25,000 to the Kentucky Bankers Relief Fund established by the Kentucky Bankers Association and encouraging its members to donate as well. Money from the fund will assist flood victims including more than 20 bank employees directly affected by the disaster. This marks the second ABA contribution to help victims of natural disasters in Kentucky in less than a year. ABA contributed $50,000 to relief efforts after devastating tornadoes in Kentucky last December.

International Paper, McKesson Corp., Microsoft Corp., and Wells Fargo have donated as members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program and the Disaster Responder Program, which helps enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.

Associates in Action articles highlight the philanthropic efforts and public-private partnerships of members of the CSG Associates Program, our consortium of private-sector entities, national trade associations and nonprofits that support the work of The Council of State Governments.

Associates in Action: Neurocrine Biosciences Honors Fifth Annual Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) Awareness Week

By: Victor Montgomery

Neurocrine Biosciences, a CSG Associate, recently recognized the fifth annual Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) Awareness Week to help elevate the voices and experiences of people living with tardive dyskinesia. This May, for the first time ever, all 50 states and Washington D.C. joined Neurocrine Biosciences and mental health advocacy organizations nationwide to shine a light on those affected by TD. More than 25 iconic landmarks across the nation – from Niagara Falls to the Portland Morrison Street Bridge to the entire Balboa Park complex – were lit up blue to elevate awareness in the community around TD. By recognizing TD Awareness Week, Neurocrine Biosciences, advocacy organizations, legislators, and the community raised awareness around:

  • The impact TD can have on a person’s physical, emotional and social well-being
  • The signs and symptoms associated with TD
  • The importance of working with one’s doctor to manage the condition, including talking about available treatment options

Tardive dyskinesia is a condition that affects approximately 600,000 people in the United States. The disorder causes uncontrollable movements affecting the face, torso, and/or other body parts and may develop after a few months of taking certain medications (antipsychotics) to treat bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. The uncontrollable movements of TD can significantly reduce the quality of life for those affected, impacting daily tasks such as eating, sleeping, drinking and even leaving the house.

TD can also have emotional and social consequences. Data from the RE-KINECT study, the largest real-world screening study of patients with clinically confirmed possible TD, demonstrated that 75% of the 204 participants affirmed feeling self-conscious or embarrassed about involuntary movements caused by TD. By acknowledging and recognizing these symptoms as part of a real, chronic condition, TD Awareness Week provides important education and encouragement to connect patients with necessary support and potential treatment.

TD Awareness Week kicks off the first full week of May, otherwise known as Mental Health Awareness Month – an initiative established in 1949 by the National Association for Mental Health. Mental Health Awareness Month acknowledges the one in five U.S. adults living with a mental illness and who may be at highest risk of developing TD.

Neurocrine Biosciences is a neuroscience-focused biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing and delivering life-changing treatments for people with under-addressed neurological, endocrine and psychiatric disorders. For nearly three decades, Neurocrine Biosciences has specialized in targeting and interrupting disease-causing mechanisms involving the interconnected pathways of the nervous and endocrine systems.

For more information on TD Awareness Week, please visit:

Associates in Action: Western Governors University and North Dakota Community Colleges Formalize Partnership for Affordable Education

Western Governors University (WGU), a non-profit online university and CSG Associate, signed a memorandum of understanding on March 17 with the North Dakota University System’s five community colleges. The agreement will provide graduates and staff of Bismarck State College, Dakota College at Bottineau, Lake Region State College, North Dakota State College of Science and Williston State College with an affordable pathway to earning their bachelor’s or master’s degrees through WGU. The institution offers over 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs covering business, IT, K-12 teacher education and health professions including nursing.

In addition, students transferring from North Dakota community colleges to WGU will now be eligible to apply for scholarships including WGU’s Community College Partner Scholarship Program and Online Access Scholarship. The Community College Scholarship Program is valued at up to $2,500 and is applied to WGU’s low, flat-rate tuition of about $3,800 per six-month term – making educational expenses even more accessible. Meanwhile, applicants in need who lack access to affordable, high-speed internet can receive a stipend for internet installation, monthly internet access costs for the duration of study and devices.

“We are delighted to provide continuing education options to the graduates and staff of North Dakota Community Colleges,” said Dr. Angie Besendorfer, Regional Vice President of Western Governors University. “WGU values the important role community colleges play in upskilling the workforce and is pleased to provide North Dakota residents with pathways to higher education and career advancement.”

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum first announced the memorandum of understanding between North Dakota Community Colleges’ five presidents and WGU during his 2022 State of the State Address. During his speech, Governor Burgum highlighted the crucial need to provide North Dakotans with access to high-quality education to prepare for in-demand careers that will strengthen and diversify the state’s economy.

“In North Dakota, we’re focused on ensuring that every resident can thrive in the 21st century economy and reach their fullest potential,” Governor Burgum said. “To be successful, we must be better at aligning our degree offerings with the needs of North Dakota businesses. This new partnership with Western Governors University will provide North Dakotans with seamless access to one of the nation’s most innovative higher education institutions to continue their education as they pursue their career goals and pathways to opportunity.”

WGU’s connection to North Dakota stretches back to the university’s founding in 1997, when then-Governor Ed Shafer joined 18 other U.S. governors in a mission to expand access to exceptional, affordable higher education by signing WGU’s charter. Since then, WGU has become the leading national competency-based university, making it possible for students to accelerate degree progress on subjects they know well to save both time and money. The university now serves more than 131,000 students nationwide and has more than 257,000 graduates in all 50 states as a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy.

More information on the partnership between WGU and North Dakota Community Colleges can be found at:

Associates in Action: CVS Health Provides 10,000 Free Lyft Rides to CVS Pharmacy Locations and Community Clinics 

by Victor Montgomery 

CVS Health, a CSG Associate, recently released a report highlighting the value it brought communities in 2021 through its enterprise response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other efforts, CVS Health partnered with Lyft’s universal vaccine access campaign to provide approximately 10,000 free rides for underrepresented minorities to vaccination appointments. Lack of transportation access and an inadequate number of pharmacies are the main practical barriers fueling health disparities in communities of color, according to health experts and research from the CDC

To help reduce travel times to clinics and pharmacies, CVS Health used the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index to identify historically underserved areas and closely collaborated with nonprofit organizations, including Easterseals, the Black Church Network and the YMCA to establish 14 community clinics and 18 “pop-up” clinics across nine states. Thanks to these efforts and others, CVS Health leads the nation in both COVID-19 diagnostic testing and vaccination, with approximately 32 million tests and 59 million vaccinations administered in 2021. 

HCA Healthcare Commits $250,000 in Support of Kentucky Tornado Relief Efforts

Associates in Action 

By Victor Montgomery 

Associates in Action articles highlight CSG Associates’ philanthropic efforts and public-private partnerships throughout the states. 

HCA Healthcare, a CSG Associate, recently announced a contribution of $250,000 to fund organizations providing tornado relief services to Kentucky communities devastated by severe tornadoes. Kentucky was the state hit hardest by a chain of severe tornadoes that carved a path across six states in early December, leaving thousands without homes, electricity, and supplies. Recipients include the American Red Cross Southern and Midwest Tornadoes Relief Fund ($100,000), United Way of Southern Kentucky Tornado Crisis and Recovery Fund ($100,000), and Governor Steve Beshear’s Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund ($50,000).  

As one of the nation’s leading providers of healthcare services, Nashville-based HCA Healthcare has a history of supporting disaster relief efforts. HCA Healthcare has provided over $4.6 million to the Red Cross for disaster relief efforts over the past five years, providing financial support in the aftermath of tornadoes that struck Middle Tennessee in 2020, the Texas winter storms in 2021, and Middle Tennessee floods in 2021. Over the last three years, HCA Healthcare has further supported the Red Cross through a $500,000 annual contribution to the organization’s Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP). HCA Healthcare’s philanthropic efforts help the Red Cross respond immediately to disasters, support families during the recovery process, and prepare communities for future emergencies. 

HCA Healthcare affiliated hospital TriStar Greenview Hospital is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky and serves many of the state’s hardest-hit areas. In the wake of the storm, TriStar Greenview Hospital and TriStar Skyline Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee cared for injured patients and hosted blood drives to respond to the increased need for blood. Meanwhile, HCA’s Healthcare Hope Fund—an employee-run, employee-supported 501(c)(3) charity – provided additional financial aid and resources to employees. The HCA Healthcare Hope Fund is designed to protect colleagues in this and other disasters after an extended illness, injury, or other special situation. In 2020 alone, the Fund provided more than $10.6 million in grants to over 4,900 families. 

Endeavor Stands Up for Racial Equality Through #ChangeFashion Initiative

Associates in Action

By Victor Montgomery 

Associates in Action articles highlight CSG Associates’ philanthropic efforts and public-private partnerships throughout the states. 

Endeavor, a CSG Associate, has partnered with Color Of Change, Joan Smalls, and the Black In Fashion Council through its subsidiary IMG to launch #ChangeFashion. This initiative aims to eradicate racism in the fashion industry, restore equity and advance racial justice. Announced in February 2021, #ChangeFashion emphasizes the need for companies to move beyond conversation and embrace structural change by acting.

IMG, the Black in Fashion Council and Joan Smalls combined their deep industry knowledge with Color of Change’s racial justice and corporate accountability expertise to create an industry-specific Roadmap with the following five universal actions: 

  • Invest in Black Talent and Careers to restore the dignity and presence of Black artists, models, designers, talent, and the diversity of coverage on Black life and culture. 
  • Commit to Transparent Reporting and Equal Representation of Black People for complete and accurate data collection on Black workers in the fashion industry at every level. 
  • Invest in Content That Advances Racial Justice by prioritizing accurate and authentic content about social issues and Black life as told by Black people. 
  • Invest in Black Safety by reassessing relationships with police and security within the industry. 
  • Invest in the Growth and Prosperity of Black Communities by investing in Black communities, promoting civic advocacy, and taking a stand on issues that affect Black people. 

“In order to create real and lasting change, we must first identify the systems that cause inequity, exclusion and misrepresentation and then work to find solutions to fix the system. We’re proud to be partnered with Color of Change in building and providing individuals and companies practical tools for systemic change across the Fashion, Music and Entertainment industries,” according to Romola Ratnam, Senior Vice President of Social Impact at Endeavor. 

The Roadmap and additional resources on #ChangeFashion can be found online at

ChangeFashion is the third entry into Color of Change’s multi-industry racial justice accountability franchise #ChangeIndustries. WME and Endeavor Content, sister companies to IMG within the Endeavor network, first partnered with Color of Change and Michael B. Jordan to release #ChangeHollywood in July of 2020. Color of Change announced the second initiative in partnership with Recording Academy® in December 2020. 

Wells Fargo Launches Mentorship Program for 500 Women-Owned Businesses

Associates in Action 

by Victor Montgomery 

Associates in Action articles highlight CSG Associates’ philanthropic efforts and public-private partnerships throughout the states. 

Wells Fargo, a CSG Associate, has launched a flagship mentoring program for women entrepreneurs called Connect to Moresm. In partnership with the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center’s signature Milestone Mapping Coaching Circles, Connect to More provides 500 women-owned businesses with access to expertise and specialized resources born from the challenges of COVID-19.  

“As a non-profit committed to access and equity in entrepreneurship, we are grateful for this opportunity to help 500 women-owned businesses accelerate their personal growth as leaders and gain support as they solve big problems that make their families and communities stronger,” says Nicola Corzine, executive director of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center. “We believe accelerating women business owners’ influence and economic opportunities are critical to addressing the intolerable wealth gap.” 

Each Coaching Circle affords all women-identifying business owners in the U.S. the opportunity to join biweekly meetings with peer mentors and industry experts to work through specific challenges, celebrate milestones, attend workshops, and build strong networks of support.  

“Small businesses are the cornerstones of our communities, and it is imperative that we support the women entrepreneurs who lead them,” noted Maryland State Senator Cory McCray. “Programs like Connect to More provide women entrepreneurs with access to resources, networks, and opportunities that help to grow their businesses and foster success. Women entrepreneurs can tap into a network of expert mentors for personalized help and support, and by participating in its biweekly Coaching Circle, women-owned businesses—like the Financial Joy School in Maryland—have received the benefit of the program’s invaluable mentorship. With its hands-on approach, Connect to More continues to equip women with the strategies and skills needed to reach their business goals.” 

“As an entrepreneur, you don’t always have the time to sit and reflect on your business, it’s always go go go,” said Ruby Taylor, owner of the Financial Joy School. “Not only does this program give you that time, but it also includes a support system of amazing women. So far I’ve walked away with concrete marketing and social media strategies to promote more brand awareness for my business.” Connect to More aims to help participants set and reach critical business goals to help grow their businesses into 2022.  

Any state official who would like to encourage women owned businesses in their own communities to apply can share the application located here. Upon acceptance, applicants will be placed in a Circle. 

“Access to trusted expertise helps small businesses move from surviving to thriving,” said Jenny Flores, head of Small Business Growth Philanthropy at Wells Fargo. “For many small businesses, having access to mentorship and trusted experts in areas like marketing, business planning, technology and legal can be a critical turning point for getting back to growth.” 

More information about Connect to More can be found at Additional resources for women-owned businesses provided by Wells Fargo are located at:  

NBWA Announces More than 26,000 Employees Trained through Distributors Against Human Trafficking Initiative

by Julianne Stahl

The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA), a CSG Associate, announced that more than 26,000 beer distribution employees have been trained through its Distributors Against Human Trafficking initiative.  NBWA made the announcement during its 84th Annual Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas. This surpasses NBWA’s goal to train 25,000 beer distribution employees across the country to spot and report signs of human trafficking by the end of this year. The initiative has been recognized with the American Society of Association Executives 2021 “Power of A” Gold Award.

Working alongside a bipartisan group of state attorneys general and state alcohol regulators, the Distributors Against Human Trafficking initiative centers around an awareness training video to help train the more than 140,000 beer distribution employees in the U.S. to recognize and report signs of human trafficking. Beer distributors are uniquely positioned to help fight this heinous crime given their level of access to locations often unseen by the public as they visit around 600,000 licensed retailers across the country.

“We have been blown away by the support our members have shown for the Distributors Against Human Trafficking initiative since its launch last year,” said NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser. “Our initial goal was to train just over 10,000 beer distributors to recognize and report the signs of human trafficking by the end of 2021. We have now more than doubled that number with more than 26,000 employees trained.”  

“Because of this campaign, more and more hardworking men and women across the country are looking for signs of human trafficking,” Purser continued. “Beer distributors are making a difference — they are helping save peoples’ lives. NBWA promises our continued support, and we will make our best effort to provide the resources necessary to keep beer distributors vigilant in this fight, ensuring they’re well positioned to do their part to eradicate this crime from the communities they love and know so well.” 

For more information about the initiative, visit

Associates in Action: Novartis to Partner with HBCUs and Med Schools for Health Equity

by Julianne Stahl 

Novartis, a CSG Associate, announced a 10-year collaboration to co-create programs that address the root causes of systemic disparities in health outcomes and create greater diversity, equity and inclusion across the research and development ecosystem. Project partners include Coursera, the National Medical Association, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Morehouse School of Medicine and 26 Historically Black Colleges, Universities and Medical Schools (HBCUs). 

Leaders from these companies, organizations and learning institutions have signed a pledge to co-develop programs focused on building trust in the health care system with communities of color and making measurable progress towards health equity. The collaboration will focus on improving access to high-quality education, technology, improved health outcomes and promising jobs; increasing clinical trial and clinical trial investigator diversity; addressing inherent bias in the data standards used to diagnose and treat disease; and finding actionable solutions to environmental and climate issues that disproportionately affect health among communities of color. 

Over an initial period of 10 years, the collaboration will focus on four key areas: 

  1. Enable the next generation of Black and African American leaders by creating equitable access to high quality education and professional development for future leaders in health science, technology and business-related fields. 
  1. Support the establishment of Digitally Enabled Clinical Trial Centers of Excellence, managed and led by clinical researchers of color, to build trust, increase diversity and inclusivity in clinical trials and contribute to improved health outcomes for people of color. 
  1. Research and validate existing data standards that drive diagnosis, clinical trial endpoints and population health policy to identify areas for increased inclusivity and ensure accurate data collection and unbiased treatment decisions. 
  1. Establish Digitally Enabled Research Centers on the impact of the environment and climate change on health to identify solutions to environmental and climate issues that disproportionately affect communities of color. 

As an initial step, the Novartis US Foundation plans to invest $20 million in scholarships, mentorships and research grants over the next 10 years to help create equitable access to high quality education and professional development for HBCU students in health-related fields. 

Administered by Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the program will train and prepare up to 1,200 students: 

  • Scholarships: Three-year scholarships of $10,000 a year for up to 360 students at select Historically Black Colleges, Universities and Medical Schools 
  • Mentorships: Novartis employee volunteers will mentor up to 400 HBCU students, including the scholarship recipients, for a period of three years each, for a total of up to 1,200 students. Students also will receive career readiness and leadership development training 
  • Internships: HBCU undergraduate and medical school students will be encouraged and supported to apply for the Novartis annual internship program 
  • Research grants: Competitive faculty research grant program offering up to ten grants of $25,000 each year to HBCU faculty, focusing on actionable solutions to health equity issues 

“At Novartis, we envision a world with equity in health for all. Just as there are a multitude of factors and causes behind racial disparities in health and education, there is no single solution to this critical challenge. It will take the concerted, urgent action of diverse stakeholders across the public and private sectors,” said Vas Narasimhan, MD, CEO of Novartis. ”We are honored and humbled to work together with these organizations to build enduring solutions to some of the most pressing, deeply rooted, and historic challenges in the United States, and we invite other like-minded companies and organizations to join us in creating this paradigm shift in health equity.” 

For more information about this commitment, please visit   

The Entertainment Software Association Launches Initiative with Black Girls Code to Expand Opportunities for Young Women Interested in Tech

by Julianne Stahl 

In March, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), a CSG Associate, announced a $1 million, multi-year initiative with the ESA Foundation and Black Girls CODE (BGC) to support educational and mentoring programs for girls and young women interested in technology. The initiative boosts BGC’s mission of teaching coding and technology skills to one million girls and young women by 2040. Black Girls CODE introduces computer programming and technology to girls ages 7 to 17 by providing workshops, hackathons and after-school programs. Areas of focus include web design, robotics, game development, mobile app development and more. 

“Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. Our industry is committed to expanding opportunities in our sector by working to grow talent and spark interest and excitement for STEAM careers, especially for those from underrepresented groups,” ESA President, CEO and ESA Foundation board chair Stanley Pierre-Louis said. “Since the ESA Foundation’s mission focuses on diversity as a central tenet, it is ideally positioned to lead, develop and manage this industry initiative and bring to life our partnership with Black Girls CODE. Our goal is to attract more girls and young women into software coding and related technology fields. We look forward to celebrating the success stories of these young women as they develop their skills and become technology leaders in the video game industry and beyond.” 

According to ESA’s “2021 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry,” the video game player community identifies as 45% female and 55% male. Among the community, 73% identified as ethnically white and only 8% identified as Black or African American. The commitment of the ESA and Black Girls CODE introduces an expansion of representation for young women from underrepresented backgrounds to explore the video gaming industry among other technology-related fields early on in their life.  

“The partnership between the ESA Foundation and Black Girls CODE is tailor-made for this moment,” ESA Foundation Executive Director Anastasia Staten said. “We believe our program will have a lasting impact on girls and young women who otherwise might never have considered careers in the video game industry. And the most exciting part for me is that, beyond their generous financial support, some of the world’s leading video game companies and their teams are committed to mentoring young women in ways that will open up opportunities to explore STEAM careers and create entertaining video games that all of us will want to play.” 

The partnership includes direct financial support as well as investments in volunteer time and other industry resources to support curricula, workshops and mentorships. For more information, about the Entertainment Software Association, visit