Unwavering Commitment to Our Communities
"We're investing in and working with our state's network of nonprofits to help more North Carolinians start healthy and stay healthy. We’re helping to provide access to the basics: safe housing, healthy food, quality education and affordable health care — as well as reliable transportation to get to work, school and medical care. Because we believe all North Carolinians should have the chance to live their healthiest life."
Director, Community Engagement and Marketing Activation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
Watch our Community Impact video to see how we continue to support North Carolina communities during these unprecedented times.
Secure access to the basics – nutritious food, safe housing, quality education and reliable transportation – is essential to good health.
To connect our neighbors with the resources they need, Blue Cross NC partners with organizations that know our communities inside and out.
Read our corporate report for more details about our multifaceted efforts to build a healthier North Carolina.
Before COVID-19, far too many North Carolinians — especially children and older adults — didn’t reliably get enough to eat. The pandemic disrupted the food system and made food access even more challenging. We continue to adapt to changed circumstances and help our neighbors in need.
By investing in food banks, delivering meals, offering nutrition education, supporting local farm-to-table initiatives, providing crisis relief and focusing our resources on the hardest-hit areas of the state, we help ensure that North Carolinians have access to an abundance of nutritious food. We strive to meet people’s needs in the moment and to develop solutions for a sustainable future.
One of our investments, in Meals on Wheels of North Carolina, brings both healthy food and holistic support to older adults. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they pivoted from daily hot meal service to weekly deliveries of frozen meals. Read Charles’s story of how Meals on Wheels has enabled him to stay safe and healthy at home.
Due to COVID-19, many North Carolinians developed new needs and faced new barriers. No community can be healthy if any of its people struggle. Through our investments, we continue to rise to the occasion.
In North Carolina, 20 percent of adults in North Carolina have no health insurance.1 Many of them have chronic conditions and are vulnerable to developing risks linked to COVID-19. To improve health and access to care in North Carolina’s rural and underserved communities, we invest in the North Carolina Association of Free & Charitable Clinics. These clinics provide COVID-19 vaccines and testing, in-person and telehealth doctor visits and specialty care, food, medicine, transportation and other needs.
We're investing in making health care better for all.
Inequities in health care result in social, economic and health disparities for marginalized communities.
Blue Cross NC is investing in three statewide programs to reduce these inequities across the state. We're supporting nonprofit organizations and health entities that are supporting and improving health outcomes for Black, Hispanic, American Indian, rural and other underserved and marginalized communities. And we're focusing on three areas that can make the biggest impact in overall health.
Behavioral Health RFP
Behavioral health can affect the total health of a person. But one in five adults will experience a behavioral health disorder within a given year and they may not have access to adequate mental health care.2
We're investing in organizations across the state, especially in rural and underserved communities, that ensure access to behavioral health care and resources.
Maternal and Infant Health RFP
Black, Hispanic and American Indian pregnant and birthing people are more likely to have adverse or fatal outcomes during and after pregnancy, and babies born to marginalized birthing people are 2.4 times more likely to die before age 1.3
We're investing in organizations that increase access to maternal and postpartum health care and educational resources for underserved birthing people.
We know that the organizations and people who live and work within our historically underserved communities understand the community's needs the most. And we want these organizations to lead how and where they need to.
We're investing in organizations led by and serving people of color to give them the power and resources to make the important decisions about what they need to better serve these communities.
Helping transform Medicaid in North Carolina
As an extension of Blue Cross NC’s mission to improve the health and well-being of our customers and communities, we are offering Healthy Blue, our plan for Medicaid members. We’ve built an innovative and well-coordinated system of care that focuses on the whole person, addressing both medical and non-medical drivers of health. With our focus on primary care, preventive health, and care management, Healthy Blue is increasing both access to and quality of care for those in tremendous need. With Healthy Blue, we are helping to transform Medicaid in North Carolina, and we won’t stop until health care is better for all.
At Healthy Blue, we realize that while high-quality health care is crucial, up to 80 percent of a person’s health is determined by non-medical drivers of health, such as food, housing, transportation and trauma/resilience.4
Healthy Blue is addressing these drivers of health by:
Arts & Culture
The arts enrich our lives beyond measure.
They are the key to the health of any community. We’re proud to lend support to several visual and performing arts organizations in our home state. A recipient of our most recent Arts RFP is creating something incredible for their community: check out their work here.
Blue Cross NC has passionate employees that are committed to committed to serving our communities. Many of our company's officers serve on nonprofit boards of directors and committees across the state.
Extra Miles Tour
This year, we embarked on a listening tour of all of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Blue Cross NC leaders visit hospitals, colleges, and other institutions and meet with local leaders to discuss community activism, policy and how Blue Cross NC can better work to meet each community’s needs. Track our progress at ExtraMilesTour.com.
Chambers of Commerce
We strategically align with Chambers of Commerce across the state that help promote economic development, build our corporate reputation and brand strength, and provide business value and employee networking opportunities.
Making a difference is our passion. We find creative ways to channel our employees’ skills, zeal and dedication to maximize our impact on our communities.
We raised more than $1.2M for more than 1,400 different nonprofit organizations during the company’s annual giving campaign, “GivingWorks."
With the company match, that totals more than $2.1M of direct impact to those organizations, in a time when they need it most.5
Pro Bono: Skills-Based Volunteerism
- Our pro bono efforts are opportunities for nonprofits to access high-quality support from our employee volunteers in the areas of marketing and communications, data collection and management, customer service and information technology.
- In 2021 we hosted three pro bono projects. Volunteers could engage with nonprofits via a two-day project, a longer 12-week effort and/or a new speed consulting program.
- This year we intentionally recruited and supported North Carolina nonprofit organizations that are led by and/or explicitly serve Black, Latino, American Indian, and other people and communities of color. This supports several of our company’s goals for the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion.
- More than 70 employees supported 19 nonprofits, offering expertise and skills to help the organizations address the challenges, gaps, and roadblocks they face in their day-to-day work.
In 2021, more than 200 employees volunteered their time, contributing more than 3,000 volunteer hours to our communities.
USO Bike Build: We honor the sacrifices of our military families. Every year, our employees put together bicycles for children of military service members. 80 Blue Cross NC employees participated remotely, building new bikes for 100 children.
Out Teach Rural Enhancement Project: Blue Cross NC employees built an outdoor experiential learning space, or Learning Lab, for Southside-Ashpole Elementary School in Rowland, NC. Interactive outdoor learning enhances social and emotional wellbeing and improves STEM, collaboration, critical thinking, and other crucial skills.
Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Emergency Packing Event: Blue Cross NC volunteers helped pack 760+ disaster preparedness kits, including shelf-stable food items and other essentials, to provide immediate relief for those in storm-hit areas.
Sort-a-Rama: Blue Cross NC employees joined volunteers from other organizations at the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC as well as the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. We sorted more than 10,000 apples and packed shelf-stable food boxes to be distributed to families facing food insecurity. This annual event was kept smaller than usual to maintain safety during COVID-19, but we still showed up in a big way for our neighbors and communities.
We know that the health of our state depends of the health of all North Carolinians and requires an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. That’s why we’re making strategic investments to lessen disparities and improve the health and well-being of historically underserved communities.
We’re working with community colleges to create a diverse health insurance salesforce that’s able to connect historically underserved communities to their health insurance/care needs.
As part of our work addressing racial health disparities, we invested $30,000 in the March of Dimes for their Breaking Through Bias in Maternity Care professional training course. This course has provided more than 135 health care professionals over 3 different trainings about implicit bias, structural racism and specific techniques for changing their behavior, building a culture of equity and centering the best interests of each parent-to-be.
Visit our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion website to learn more about our work and our goals.
Community and Diversity Engagement
Director Cheryl Parquet leads the Community and Diversity Engagement team, which builds brand strength and reinforces our commitment to improving health for all North Carolinians. The Community & Diversity Engagement team works with nonprofit organizations to identify funding opportunities, and volunteer opportunities for our employees, that positively impact drivers of health. We bring our purpose to life by collaborating with organizations; empowering employee volunteers; engaging diverse communities; and strengthening corporate and brand reputation to make a healthier North Carolina for all.
I'm passionate about service — life is about how you serve others.
• Employee Engagement
• Extra Miles Tour
• Behavioral Health
I’m passionate about the work we do with organizations serving small and rural communities with fewer resources.
• DEI Community Engagement Lead for Commercial Markets
• Strengthen NC
• Multicultural Marketing Engagement
I’m passionate about listening to and addressing the needs of our most underserved and underprivileged communities.
• Board Service Engagement
• Strengthen NC
I’m passionate about unlocking the power of corporate resources to make North Carolina a healthier place.
• Employee Engagement
• Chamber Engagement
• Arts & Culture, Maternal & Infant Health
I’m passionate about serving as a bridge between our company and our communities to help our purpose come to life.
• Corporate Citizenship Lead for Greater Charlotte Market
I’m passionate about supporting organizations that help our most vulnerable neighborhoods have better access to food.
• Operational Excellence
• Employee Engagement
• Strengthen NC
I’m passionate about helping nonprofits fulfill their missions by enabling them to expand their reach or enhance their work.
• DEI Community Engagement Lead for Government Markets
• Multicultural Marketing Engagement
I’m passionate about connecting multicultural communities across North Carolina with organizations that can make a difference for them.