CareFirst donates $2.2M to 16 small businesses, nonprofits

Daily Record Staff//June 13, 2022

CareFirst donates $2.2M to 16 small businesses, nonprofits

By Daily Record Staff

//June 13, 2022

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the largest not-for-profit health plan in the mid-Atlantic region, Monday announced a grant investment of up to $2.2 million to 16 small businesses and diverse nonprofits in Maryland, Washington and Northern Virginia collectively serving more than 30,000 people.

These grants will provide resources and guidance to address obstacles that negatively impact company growth, scalability and long-term sustainability. The investments build on CareFirst’s commitment to addressing economic inclusion needs to improve social support, minimize barriers to accessing care and social services and address essential environmental conditions that shape the health of its communities.

To identify needs and challenges impacting economic growth and development in the region, CareFirst conducted key interviews with community-based organizations to inform the priority areas for the funding, which include:

  • Capacity Building: Provide training and technical assistance to elevate operations such as data systems, resource generation and leadership development.
  • Capital Enhancement: Position new or existing nonprofits, small businesses, or entrepreneurs to increase access to and manage new capital funding and in-kind resources.
  • Workforce Development: Assist new or existing nonprofits or entrepreneurs in implementing employment initiatives that help hire locally and create, sustain and retain a viable workforce.

Special consideration was given to organizations led by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), returning citizens, disconnected youth, seniors, individuals with greater health risks, persons experiencing homelessness, populations with limited English language proficiency, structurally disinvested communities, developmentally disabled, justice-involved individuals, LGBTQ+, physically disabled, veterans, etc. Special consideration was also given to organizations that support or directly provide healthcare-related services or programs addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH) or social and environmental factors that impact health outcomes.

Organizations receiving funds include:

  • Bmore Empowered (Baltimore)
  • The Urban Oasis (Baltimore)
  • Fusion Partnership/Brioxy (Baltimore)
  • Parity Baltimore Incorporated (Baltimore)
  • Heaven on Earth Now (Baltimore)
  • Safe Alternative Foundation for Education (SAFE) (Baltimore)
  • Human Services Coalition of Prince George’s County (Prince George’s County)
  • Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations/Maryland Latinos Unidos (Maryland)
  • Echoing Green (Washington and Prince George’s County)
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington (Washington)
  • Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) (Washington,)
  • Friends of Anacostia Park (Washington)
  • Greater Washington Urban League (Washington)
  • INROADS, Inc. (Washington)
  • Capital Youth Empowerment Program (CYEP) (Washington and northern Virginia)
  • ServiceSource (northern Virginia)

In its 85th year of service, CareFirst, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit healthcare company which, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to 3.5 million individuals and employers in Maryland, the District of Columbia and northern Virginia. In 2021, CareFirst invested $26.2 million to improve overall health, and increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of health care throughout its market areas.



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