Carnegie Mellon University
November 07, 2019

Highmark Health and Carnegie Mellon University expand longstanding relationship with new building to address student well-being

$35 million lead grant from Highmark Inc. supports initiative to build integrated health, wellness and athletics facility

Lynn Seay
  • Highmark Health
  • 412-544-2771
Jason Maderer
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • 412-268-1151

Highmark Health and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) today announced a $35 million grant from Highmark Inc. to support the construction of a new student health, wellness and athletics center at CMU. The 160,000-square-foot building will, for the first time, unite critical student well-being services under one roof on the university's Pittsburgh campus.

Rising on the corner of Tech and Margaret Morrison streets, the project will preserve and enhance the existing Skibo Gymnasium for recreational use and construct a modern addition on the surrounding site. The expansion will include space for University Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services and CMU's intercollegiate athletics program, as well as wellness and mindfulness programming, recreational sports, religious and spiritual life activities, and sports medicine. The building will face Schenley Park and serve as a gateway to campus.

"Highmark Health is committed to continuing to invest in the western Pennsylvania region, both in our continued expansion of Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and in our partnerships with organizations who share our vision for a health system that provides remarkable experiences to consumers," commented David Holmberg, president and CEO of Highmark Health. "This new centralized facility will improve access to health services, counseling, wellness and athletics activities, with the goal of supporting students in building habits that will be the foundation for their future health, lives and careers."

The state-of-the-art facility will accelerate Carnegie Mellon's vision to support students in practicing positive self-care behavior and maintaining their physical and psychological well-being as they pursue a life-changing education. The integrated approach is part of the university's model for assisting students to develop their whole selves through initiatives inside and outside of the classroom.

"Helping our talented students develop and maintain healthy bodies and minds is paramount to ensuring their lifelong success, both personally and professionally," CMU President Farnam Jahanian said. "We are delighted to extend our partnership with Highmark Health to bring to fruition our vision for a unified, comprehensive facility that supports many facets of students' well-being."


In 2013, CMU and Highmark Health established a research partnership to identify and accelerate the development of health information technologies with the potential to impact patient care and the patient's experience. To date, Highmark Inc. has invested $16 million in the partnership, including the establishment of the Disruptive Health Technology Institute as well as the endowed Highmark Distinguished Career Professor.

In December 2017, the organizations further evolved their relationship with new strategic agreements that cover all research projects, as well as other types of projects such as course sponsorship and design efforts, by AHN, Highmark Health or Highmark Inc. in collaboration with CMU schools or faculty members. This partnership has been funded by Highmark Health, and has allocated up to $2.5 million annually.

The research partnership has several projects already underway, which vary in maturity from being conceptual in nature to more developed prototypes with a demonstrated value proposition. CMU is helping Highmark Health and AHN to better understand opportunities for technologies to find large scale deployment, and the technical and commercial hurdles that could keep them from maturing.

Highmark Inc.'s investment also supports Make Possible: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon University, which was publicly launched last week. The campaign seeks to raise $2 billion in support of the university's aspirations, which include a focus on the CMU experience. To date more than 42,000 donors have contributed more than half of the goal, accelerating CMU's leadership at the nexus of technology and humanity.

About Highmark Health

Highmark Health, a Pittsburgh, PA-based company, is the lead company in an enterprise that employs more than 35,000 people who serve millions of Americans across the country and is the second largest integrated health care delivery and financing network in the nation based on revenue. Highmark Health is the parent company of Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, and HM Health Solutions. Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates provide health insurance to more than 4.4 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware as well as dental insurance, and related health products through a national network of diversified businesses that include United Concordia Companies, and HM Insurance Group. Allegheny Health Network is the parent company of an integrated delivery network that includes eight hospitals, more than 2,300 affiliated physicians, ambulatory surgery centers, an employed physician organization, home and community-based health services, a research institute, a group purchasing organization, and health and wellness pavilions in western Pennsylvania. HM Health Solutions focuses on meeting the information technology platform and other business needs of the Highmark Health enterprise as well as unaffiliated health insurance plans by providing proven business processes, expert knowledge, and integrated cloud-based platforms. To learn more, visit

About Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon ( is a private, internationally ranked university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 14,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small faculty-to-student ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real world problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation.

About Highmark Inc.

One of America's leading health insurance organizations and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Highmark Inc. (the Health Plan) and its affiliated health plans (collectively, the Health Plans) work passionately to deliver high-quality, accessible, understandable, and affordable experiences, outcomes, and solutions to customers. As the fourth-largest overall Blue Cross Blue Shield-affiliated organization, Highmark Inc. and its Blue-branded affiliates proudly cover the insurance needs of more than 4.4 million members in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance and other related businesses. For more information, visit

Carnegie Mellon University is committed to educating, empowering and aligning its community around the world to address the Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals, which aim to create a more peaceful, prosperous planet with just and inclusive societies. Recognizing the critical contributions that universities are making through education, research and practice, CMU publicly committed to undertaking a Voluntary University Review of the Global Goals. The 17 Global Goals cover wide-ranging issues, including reducing violence, ending extreme poverty, promoting equitable education, fighting inequality and injustice, advancing economic growth and decent work, and preventing the harmful effects of climate change by 2030.

The preceding story demonstrates CMU's work toward attaining Global Goals 3 and 17.