CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Appoints Brian Wheeler as Senior Vice President of Health Services

Wheeler to lead company’s efforts to address healthcare access, affordability and quality

Today, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst), the largest not-for-profit health plan in the mid-Atlantic region, announced Brian Wheeler as the new Senior Vice President of Health Services.

In this role, Wheeler will lead a division dedicated to optimizing high-quality, highly integrated health service operations to drive affordable, accessible and equitable healthcare for the people CareFirst serves. He will oversee all aspects of provider networks, care management teams, clinical support services and quality & accreditation.

"Brian has a wealth of expertise as a healthcare executive, and his leadership will accelerate our organization’s collaboration with healthcare delivery partners to create better health outcomes across the region,” Brian D. Pieninck, CareFirst President and CEO, said. "He has been a pillar in his community and throughout our entire service area. He is passionate about transforming healthcare into something that meets the needs of all people. I look forward to continuing to work with Brian in this role as we continue to advance affordable, accessible and equitable care on behalf of those we serve.” 

For the past 15 years, Wheeler has served in roles of increasing responsibility at CareFirst, most recently as Vice President of Provider Collaboration and Network Transformation, where he focused on expanding and advancing CareFirst's approach to value-based care to better serve the region.

Wheeler has helped to shape the regulatory environment with his ability to serve as a thought leader and subject matter expert around continued healthcare transformation. He was critical in moving CareFirst forward during the pandemic and prioritizing members' health and safety during a time when the healthcare system and people were the most vulnerable. He also made substantial headway on a corporate goal to advocate for value-based care models and improve access to behavioral health and substance abuse services by expanding network capacity.

"A not-for-profit BlueCross BlueShield plan plays a critical role in the communities it serves," said Wheeler. "CareFirst is partnering with physician practices, health systems and other types of healthcare providers in new ways to evolve a system that produces better results for all stakeholders.  I’m excited to work with the talented Health Services team and our external partners, now with a broader programmatic toolset, to accelerate the path to a more effective healthcare experience for consumers that improves the overall health of communities."

Prior to that role, Wheeler had served as Vice President, Practice & Payment Transformation, Vice President, Practice Consulting Group and Special Assistant to the previous President & CEO of CareFirst. Building relationships with senior health system executives has enabled partnerships that drive value by transforming healthcare on the frontlines.

Wheeler is committed to informing and advocating for individuals inside and outside the office. He serves as Chair Emeritus for the Prince George's Chamber of Commerce, as a member of CareFirst Associates' Political Action Committee and as a member of the Board of the Chesapeake Regional (Health) Information System for our Patients (CRISP).

About CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

In its 86th year of service, CareFirst, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit healthcare company which, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to 3.5 million individuals and employers in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. In 2022, CareFirst invested $24.1 million to improve overall health, and increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of healthcare throughout its market areas. To learn more about CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, visit our website at and our transforming healthcare page at, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.