CareFirst Awards $240,000 to Five Northern Virginia Nonprofits

Funding supports primary, specialty care for more than 7,000 children, adults

Baltimore, MD (April 29, 2013) - CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) plans to contribute $240,000 to help five Northern Virginia nonprofit health centers provide primary and specialized care to more than 7,000 uninsured and medically underserved children and adults.

The grant awards are consistent with CareFirst’s commitment to providing its members and communities it serves with access to quality, affordable health care. They also highlight CareFirst’s role in improving maternal and child health, empowering the region’s safety net clinics and expanding the company's Patient-Centered Medical Home model of care.

The five health centers to receive funding include.

  • Arlington Free Clinic (AFC), which offers health care for low-income uninsured children and adults in Northern Virginia. With the $50,000 CareFirst grant, AFC will fund key staff to help coordinate patient care and manage patient information from hospital referrals.
  • NOVA ScriptsCentral, which offers medications and pharmaceutical care for uninsured patients at 16 Northern Virginia safety net clinics. The $50,000 CareFirst grant will support the clinic’s pharmacists and a portion of generic drug purchases this year.
  • Health Works for Northern Virginia Herndon, which provides comprehensive care to low-income residents of Fairfax County. CareFirst is contributing $50,000 to support licensed professional counselors who are part of Health Works’ behavioral health team.
  • Sudden Infant Death Services of the Mid-Atlantic, which helps vulnerable families prevent sudden infant deaths by providing them with cribs and information about safe sleep practices. The $20,000 grant will provide 400 cribs to needy families in Northern Virginia.
  • Arlington Pediatric Center (APC), which serves as a medical home for more than 4,000 low-income children living in Arlington. With the $70,000 grant from CareFirst, APC plans to improve physicians’ productivity by hiring scribes to transcribe patient information to electronic medical records.

“Community health centers are often the first line of care for many uninsured and low-income patients,” said Maria Harris Tildon, CareFirst Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Community Affairs.  “These facilities play a vital role in our communities, and it is important that these health centers have the resources necessary to serve their most vulnerable patients.”

Arlington Free Clinic Director Nancy Pallesen said: “CareFirst recognizes that patients who are transitioning from a hospital stay to a primary care setting are often most vulnerable to additional complications if primary care services are not readily available at discharge. This grant award has the potential to improve lives and save the community money by keeping patients from returning to the hospital.”

Each of the five community health clinics is expected to attend CareFirst’s first annual Northern Virginia CareFirst Commitment event April 30 at Fairview Park Marriott in Falls Church, Va. The event will highlight the work of these and other Northern Virginia nonprofits dedicated to increasing access to essential health care services. For more information about CareFirst’s community involvement, visit our CareFirst Commitment website.

About CareFirst

In its 76th year of service, CareFirst, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health care company which, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to 3.4 million individuals and groups in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. In 2012, CareFirst contributed $57 million to community programs designed to increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of health care throughout its market areas. To learn more about CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter: