Investing $1.71M to Address the Diabetes Epidemic

Woman and nurseCareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) recently announced grant recipients of $1.71 million to combat the diabetes epidemic. The investment was distributed to 26 organizations across Baltimore City, Prince George’s County, Washington, D.C. (Wards 7 and 8), Western Maryland, Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland, Central Maryland and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The grants will benefit individuals who have or are at risk of developing diabetes through services available from local health improvement coalitions, community organizations and collaboratives working to address the upstream social determinants of health (SDOH), or social and environmental factors, impacting the severity or likelihood of developing this disease. This first round of investments is phase I of CareFirst’s $10.5 million commitment announced in early 2021.

CareFirst’s Community Health and Social Impact strategy focuses on health equity through the lens of social determinants of health, where we partner with place-based programs to drive healthcare transformation with and for the communities we serve in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia. In 2020, in response to the devastating effects of COVID-19, CareFirst prioritized funding for organizations that promote equitable access to affordable, high-quality care, economic inclusion, educational opportunity, behavioral health support, resources for the management of chronic conditions, and social responsibility & impact.

Phase 1 funding of CareFirst’s Diabetes Initiative supports organizations by prioritizing place-based approaches to health, or where community-led initiatives are uniquely suited to address the policies, systems and environmental issues that impact health and well-being within a specific neighborhood/community. Central to a place-based approach is the philosophy that these programs be designed, led and structured by local organizations to directly benefit the people who live there. Investments strengthen organizational capacity and partnerships with communities and health systems and support innovative interventions to address social determinants of health in communities.

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For more information about CareFirst’s Community Impact, please visit

Read about CareFirst’s commitment to addressing Diabetes here.