BALTIMORE, Jan. 6, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst), the region's largest health insurer, invested approximately $40 million in nonprofit health organizations and public health care access programs throughout Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia in 2015.
In all, CareFirst made 416 grant awards throughout the year. Among the company's largest contributions were:
- $1.3 million in employee donations and company matching grants to United Way organizations in Maryland, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia;
- $750,000 to the B'More for Healthy Babies program successfully working to reduce infant mortality rates in Baltimore City;
- $500,000 to Unity Health Care's Transition of Care Project serving more than 5,000 patients and including comprehensive care coordination for 150 clients; and,
- $115,000 to Restore Baltimore efforts, including $50,000 to the Baltimore Community Foundation's Fund for Rebuilding Baltimore and $50,000 to the United Way of Central Maryland's Maryland Unites fund, following April's unrest in Baltimore City.
CareFirst also announced a three-year $3 million telemedicine initiative in 2015, offering grant contributions to regional programs that use telemedicine to alleviate barriers patients' face while seeking health care services, including access to providers and lack of transportation.
"At the core of our mission as a not-for-profit insurer is meeting the health care needs of both our members and those individuals and families within our service region who are under- or uninsured," said Chet Burrell, CareFirst President and CEO. "We will continue to work with public and private entities to target our efforts toward the most vulnerable populations in our service region, funding innovative programs in communities lacking adequate access to basic and critical health care services."
CareFirst's giving strategy is designed to impact the most vulnerable populations that otherwise would not have access to critical health care services. About 50 percent of the company's giving is in catalytic grants that improve the health care delivery system; nearly 40 percent supports health programs and direct services for underserved communities; and approximately 10 percent is short-term investments to sponsor events and support programs.
CareFirst has a tradition of community giving. Since 2011, the company has been named by the Baltimore Business Journal as a leading corporate philanthropist, topping the publication's annual list in 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015. CareFirst has also been a top-five regional corporate philanthropist on the Washington Business Journal's list for four consecutive years.
In addition to financial contributions made to nonprofits in the region, CareFirst also promotes a culture of volunteerism among employees. In 2015, hundreds of CareFirst employees spent more than 10,000 hours volunteering with local organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Chesapeake's "Bigs in School" program and The 6th Branch's 4th annual "Together We Serve" day of service.
About CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
In its 78th 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 2015, CareFirst invested $40 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 www.carefirst.com or follow us on Twitter.
CONTACT: Media Relations 1-800-914-NEWS (6397) email@example.comSource: CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst of Maryland)