CareFirst Increased Community Giving in 2016

The company contributed more than $43 million to expand access to health care

Baltimore, MD (February 02, 2017) - CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst), the largest health insurer in the mid-Atlantic region, invested $43.5 million in public health care access programs and nonprofit health organizations in 2016.

More than 500 grant awards made throughout Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia include the following contributions:

  • $2.8 million over three years to nine organizations in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia to increase the use of telemedicine in providing access to care;
  • $1.4 million in employee donations and company matching grants to regional United Way organizations, including $190,000 in support of the United Way of Central Maryland’s 2-1-1 Call Center;
  • $2.25 million over three years to the B’more for Healthy Babies Initiative successfully working to reduce the infant mortality rate and improve birth outcomes in Baltimore City; and,
  • More than $400,000 raised in support of the March of Dimes, March for Babies initiative, led by CareFirst CEO Chet Burrell, who served as the 2016 honorary chair of the March for Babies March in Maryland and the National Capital Area.

CareFirst amplified the work of its community partners through the Community Health Centers and Patient Centered Medical Home Symposium, highlighting the success of CareFirst’s Safety Net PCMH initiative grantees. The company also hosted a Maternal and Child Health Webcast in October, featuring the positive results of the B’more for Healthy Babies Initiative.

“In addition to providing innovative health care services to our 3.2 million members, CareFirst has made it part of our mission to expand and increase access to care for those in our communities who are under- or uninsured, and face barriers to care,” said Chet Burrell, CareFirst President and CEO. “It is through our partnerships – and the programs and initiatives they enact – that we continue to ease these burdens toward ultimately improving health outcomes across the region.”

CareFirst’s giving strategy supports innovative community programs on a broad range of health care initiatives. Approximately 55 percent of the company’s giving is in support of programs and initiatives that catalyze and promote change in health care delivery systems; nearly 35 percent supports health programs and direct health care services for underserved communities; and about 10 percent is directed to short-term investments such as sponsorships.

CareFirst’s continued commitment to community giving has again earned the company recognition as a leading corporate philanthropist in the region. In 2016, CareFirst was named to both the Baltimore Business Journal and Washington Business Journal’s annual lists of top corporate givers.

In addition to the company’s financial contributions, CareFirst employees spent more than 17,000 hours in 2016 volunteering with local organizations, including Health Care for the Homeless, Together We Serve, Food & Friends and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

About CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

In its 79th 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 3.2 million individuals and groups in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. In 2016, CareFirst invested nearly $44 million to improve overall health, and 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 Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram or Google+.