DURHAM, N.C. (WNCT) Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, as part of its commitment to serve all 100 counties in North Carolina, announced an investment of $8 million toward initiatives addressing the challenges facing rural areas across the state.

Cheryl Parquet, director of community and diversity engagement at Blue Cross NC says, ” Blue Cross NC is committed to improving the health and well-being of every North Carolinian, no matter what part of the state they call home. That’s why we’re investing in programs that support rural areas across the state, helping local leaders, businesses, and organizations improve the health of their communities.”

Programs to receive funding include:

  • North Carolina Community Action Association 
    • To expand the Healthy Home Initiative to an additional 38 rural counties and 165 additional families. The initiative makes health-centered home repairs for families in the far western and eastern parts of North Carolina.
  • North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition
    • To expand access to Naloxone/Narcan for EMS First Responders on the front lines of preventing overdose deaths.
  • North Carolina Community Colleges 
    • To support technology and scholarships benefitting more than 4,000 students and increase the number of certified firefighters.
  • NC State Firefighters Association
    • To help volunteer fire and rescue departments purchase quality equipment and supplies to do their jobs correctly.
  • East Carolina University and Appalachian State University
    • To support scholarships awarded to community college transfer students who wish to teach in their home communities.
  • InterAct
    • Increase interpersonal violence screening through the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) program, life-saving intervention for families experiencing domestic violence.
  • NC Association of Free & Charitable Clinics
    • To expand quality programs for health care delivery to the uninsured, focusing on the role of social determinant interventions in improving health for the population.
  • YMCA
    • To expand Learn to Swim, a YMCA program offering free swim lessons to children from Title I schools during the school year.

Blue Cross NC’s investment will fund eight programs, made up of nine organizations, that are uniquely positioned to improve health within the rural areas they serve