BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina 2017

This is the time of year to be thankful and thoughtful—the perfect time to pause and reflect.

It’s in this spirit I’m sharing a brief look back at 2017 with our grantees, our partners, and those of you curious about what we’ve been up to.

For starters, reaffirming values is especially timely and important. So I'm proud of the progress we made to explore and formally identify the attributes that are most representative of our team, our approach, and our work.

That work is built on a foundation of grantmaking, and we are continually humbled by the responsibility entrusted to us. This year was no exception, as we ended the fiscal year having proudly invested more than $7 million in North Carolina communities — for a total of $122 million in grantmaking since our founding in 2000.

These investments are part of wide-ranging efforts to sustain and broaden our support in key areas.


Community-Centered Health

Raising our voice and bolstering community collaborations in Asheville, Gastonia, and Greensboro; and joining both national and local funders in supporting the BUILD Health Challenge.

Oral Health

Continuing to invest in, and advance, solutions for one of the state’s many complex health care challenges.

Health Care Safety Net

Outfitting safety net providers with one-year equipment and training grants to improve quality, increase capacity, and broaden their service scope.

Food Policy

Increasing our role in advancing food-system reforms to improve health, including supporting the growth of North Carolina’s food council network and the formal launch of the Duke World Food Policy Center.

Healthy Starts

Witnessing Shape NC build on our foundational support through substantial federal funding to make sure children start kindergarten at a healthy weight.

Nonprofit Leadership

Broadening our commitment to the state’s vibrant nonprofit sector by supporting individuals and organizations with training and capacity programming, including our intensive Nonprofit Leadership Academy.


We’re energized by the commitment and determination of our grantees and partners —

from Greenville, where a middle school teacher is changing students’ lives; to Greensboro, where stakeholders in the Cottage Grove community are addressing root causes of poor health; to the Blue Ridge Parkway, where the seed of an idea has spread across the country and drawn families out of homes and into nature. There are stories of positive change all over the state, and we’re grateful to be part of them.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t express my most sincere appreciation to Brad Wilson, who will retire as our Foundation chairman at the end of this year, and enthusiastically welcome Patrick Conway, Blue Cross NC’s new president and CEO, who will succeed Brad in this role.

We’re eagerly looking ahead to next year. While in many ways these are challenging and confounding times, we are emboldened to do more — for our grantees, for our partners, and for the people who call North Carolina home.

My best to you and yours,

Kathy Higgins

Kathy Higgins


BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina

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