Publication Date: 

In October 2021, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) announced its plan to implement a series of initiatives aimed at addressing and eliminating racial, health and geographical disparities in North Carolina. To improve North Carolina’s ranking as having the eleventh highest infant mortality rate in the country[1], the first initiative will focus on maternal and infant health, supporting Blue Cross NC’s goal to decrease racial disparities in maternal and child health care within the state by 50% in five years.

In order to reach our goal to improve health equity, Blue Cross NC is launching a $2 million Request for Proposals (RFP) for evidence-based strategies to improve maternal and infant health in North Carolina.


Addressing Health Disparities: Improving Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes

Blue Cross NC is committing $2 million to support evidence-based strategies that achieve significant improvement in infant and maternal health outcomes, specifically addressing disparities in Black, American Indian and Hispanic communities. We encourage you to reach out to your networks and share this RFP opportunities to any organization who could benefit from this opportunity. Universities, 501c3 nonprofits, and public (government) health entities are all allowed to apply for funding. 

Between now and November 12, 2021, Blue Cross NC is accepting collaborative proposals that demonstrate an ability to expand or replicate results in nearby communities and include a plan for sustainability beyond the funding period. Applications for funding can be submitted here. Informational webinar sessions will also be held to provide an overview of the application process and criteria. Complete this form to learn more and register for an upcoming session.

In North Carolina, compared to their White counterparts, Black and American Indian babies are 2.4 times more likely to die before age 11, and their birthing parents are more likely to experience death or adverse outcomes during pregnancy and delivery. Hispanic babies are 1.1 times more likely to die before age 11. These stark disparities create barriers to improving population health in our state. Every child deserves to see their first birthday and every birthing person deserves a safe and affirming pregnancy and delivery experience. That's why Blue Cross NC is investing in evidence-based strategies that improve infant and maternal health outcomes within historically underserved populations, with a special focus on Black, American Indian and Hispanic communities.


For more information, please visit the Material Health webpage: