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CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

carefirstIn its 80-plus years, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has consistently made helping people without access to affordable health care part of its mission.

In 2019, the region’s largest not-for-profit health care company took that commitment to a new level.

During the company’s first Day of Equity and Action, CareFirst shut down its normal business operations to allow more than 5,000 employees to participate in team-building activities and training designed to cultivate their empathy for and understanding of the needy clients they serve.

At five different locations – Baltimore, Charleston, West Virginia, Cumberland, the District of Columbia and Easton – the employees provided help for the needy.

The employees wrapped some 350,000 diapers and assembled 14,000 care packages for babies. They put together 6,300 hygiene kits for homeless men and women and packed hundreds of boxes of food for the hungry. They also cleaned and helped organize dozens of community centers and worked on neighborhood improvement projects.

When the day was done, a survey found that 92% of the participants felt more empowered to practice empathy and to try to better understand their community.

“It’s part of our mission as a not-for-profit health care company to support organizations and programs that help individuals who lack adequate access to health care or can’t meet basic living needs,” said Brian D. Pieninck, president and CEO of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's Health Care Heroes awards. Information for this profile was sourced from the honoree's application for the award.