Collaboration is central to vibrant communities and a healthier North Carolina. To that end, each year we initiate or expand community-based partnerships that result in even more ideas for impacting the health and quality of life for the citizens of our state.
Read or download the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association's 2016 Community Investment Report (PDF) to see how we are helping communities across the U.S.
Blue Cross NC partnered with the American Red Cross, State Rep Becky Carney and the NC Council of Churches to put Automated Electronic Defibrillator in houses of worship across the state. Over 200 AEDs were given to local churches. And, we helped with 54 grants for training and maintenance.
Lakewood Preschool is a five-star school in an economically challenged area of Charlotte. The school prepared young children for educational success. We've partnered with Lakewood to provide a holistic outlook to wellness for children and the community.
Together with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, BCBSNC helped create a physician assistant (PA) master's degree program for returning military veterans. BCBSNC contributed $1.2 million2 to this program, which provides opportunities for those who have served, while helping to address the shortage of health care professionals in our state.
GO NC! (Get Outside, North Carolina!) is an initiative that encourages North Carolinians to get outside and get active through the advancement of our greenway systems, increased access to public bicycles and the overall promotion of outdoor physical activity.
We teamed up with Durham's Museum of Life and Science to add 1.5 miles of trail and launch "Walk of the Week," a program that leads visitors on educational scavenger hunts through the museum's 84 acres of scenic woodlands. This effort added to miles of trails created in previous years through the Blue LoopSM at the North Carolina Museum of Art and the Cross-City Trail in Wilmington.
PlayPrints are colorful shapes, images and games painted on playgrounds to encourage the children who play there to increase their physical activity. BCBSNC is working with the North Carolina Recreation and Park Association (NCRPA) to help build healthier communities by providing grants to install PlayPrints in a number of outdoor spaces. Look for PlayPrints in your area.
Responding to increased interest, North Carolina's first bike-sharing program has expanded to 25 stations. In fiscal year 2015, they recorded 52,460 trips taken – a 30% increase over the previous year. Through this program, BCBSNC and Charlotte Center City Partners have made more than 200 bikes available for rent in Uptown Charlotte and surrounding neighborhoods.3
Hike NC is the latest project from Go NC! The program launched in Fall 2016 and partnered with NC State Parks. Hike NC offered 60 guided hikes across the state to encourage getting active. Over 800 hikers participated. These hikes were for all skill and fitness levels. The hikes encouraged hikers to enjoy the state's beautiful outdoors and stay active. Hike NC will add more hikes in 2017.
FNV is a national program started by the Partnership for a Healthier America. The program is supported by regional partners like Blue Cross NC. The goal is to teach people about the health benefits of fruits and veggies, ways to eat more of them, and to make fruit and veggies cool!
Nourishing North Carolina (NNC) is a statewide community garden program making local, healthy food more accessible. NNC has established or enhanced community gardens in 95 of North Carolina's 100 counties. In 2014, NNC's gardens produced more than 54,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables.4
During November, the Month of Thanks, BCBSNC honored four community champions. In addition to highlighting their commitment to volunteerism, BCBSNC also donated $5,000 to each of their chosen causes: Susan G. Komen Northwest NC; Dress for Success® Triangle; The Lupus Foundation of AmericaTM, NC Chapter; and East Durham Children's Initiative.
Eight out of ten BCBSNC leaders serve on a board or committee of a nonprofit organization in our state.5 Employees at all levels take leading roles in causes that include the Triangle Go Red for Women® Campaign, American Diabetes Association Walk and the March of Dimes.
BCBSNC actively partners with university sports programs, professional hockey, basketball, soccer and baseball teams, and the racing team of sixtime Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. We actively work with the organizations' outreach programs and foundations to benefit the community. As the presenting sponsor of the Drive for the Cure 300, BCBSNC joined with Charlotte Motor Speedway to raise breast cancer awareness.
North Carolina has the largest Senior Games program in the U.S. – and BCBSNC is proud to sponsor the State Finals, where over 3,200 qualifiers from 53 local games compete. BCBSNC employees have also contributed hundreds of volunteer hours to aid in the Senior Games' success.6