CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
Large Business Nominee
Maria Harris Tildon, Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Community Affairs
1. Why do you believe CSR strategy is important for a company?
As the region’s largest not-for-profit health insurer, CareFirst is committed to operating as a socially responsible corporate citizen. Implementing and executing an effective CSR strategy is to the benefit of our employees, our members, and ultimately the communities we serve.
2. Do you believe that the CSR work you participate in should be affiliated with the work you/your company does?
CareFirst’s CSR strategy aligns directly with our mission to support programs and organizations that are improving overall health outcomes in the communities we serve. We view it as our responsibility to invest in initiatives that catalyze innovation, improve our region’s health care delivery system, and increase overall access to care – particularly for under- or uninsured individuals.
3. What makes your company stand out compared to other companies participating in CSR?
In 2017, CareFirst contributed $33.2 million to nearly 300 regional nonprofit organizations and public health care access programs. These investments positively impacted more than 450,000 individuals throughout the region.
Our commitment to supporting our community is further demonstrated through the thousands of volunteer hours our associates devote every year. CareFirst associates volunteered more than 25,000 hours of their time at local organizations in 2017, including many of the company’s nonprofit partners.
In both the workplace and in the community, CareFirst supports initiatives that recognize and celebrate the importance of diversity. The company currently maintains seven associate resource groups – formed around elements of diversity such as ethnicity, age, sexual orientation or military status – that help CareFirst achieve business goals, better connect with members and attract and retain a diverse workforce. CareFirst is currently listed as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign.
CareFirst adheres to the highest standards of conduct – having been named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by the Ethisphere Institute for the six consecutive year – and is committed to conducting business in an environmentally sustainable manner.
4. Do you believe contributing back to the community allows your company to have a deeper connection with its clients/customers?
Absolutely. Over 3 million members trust CareFirst every day to provide them with quality health insurance, but both they and the communities we serve know that we are more than a health insurer. Our commitment to improve the overall health of the region, to positively impact the well-being of those we serve, and to build programs and partnerships in the neighborhoods where we live and work highlight our intimate connection to – and understanding of – our community at-large.
5. What advice would you give to companies trying to participate in CSR?
Go beyond the money. The key is to develop a multifaceted approach which incorporates deep community partnerships that align with the company’s mission, creates a culture of corporate investment that engages employees in the community, and celebrates diversity.