Ravens and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield 20-Year Partnership Yields New Community Healthy Equity Program

Focused on providing awareness and support to the community by addressing health disparities, the "Huddle Up for Health" program is the latest collaborative initiative stemming from the decades-long partnership between the Baltimore Ravens and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst). The program continues the ongoing community wellness and health equity initiatives established by the two organizations, while broadening focus to include other health challenges individuals face throughout Maryland.

"In conjunction with CareFirst, we're creating this program to provide the necessary resources that will ensure all Marylanders have the ability to place an emphasis on health and well-being," Ravens vice president of community relations/executive director of the Ravens Foundation Heather Darney stated. "Through our longstanding partnership, we're eager to continue making impactful progress throughout the community for many years to come."

This year, the Huddle Up for Health program will distribute a grant to a select Maryland-based nonprofit to build new programming or enhance current initiatives centered around mental health support and awareness. Eligible nonprofits can apply to receive up to $50,000 in grant funding.

"There is an ongoing need to address mental health, and CareFirst is devoted to strengthening our strategy and ability to meet the rising behavioral health needs in partnership with the Ravens," said Mack McGee, vice president, chief marketing officer, CareFirst. "We continue to work with our partners and the community on ways to improve services and access for all as together we can break the stigma and create safe spaces and solutions for our shared communities."

When CareFirst and the Ravens began their partnership in 2003, they pledged to combine their strength, expertise and resources to support communities throughout the state of Maryland. Huddle Up for Health notably encompasses the ongoing "Fresh Food Mobile" initiative started in 2019. Stemming from a concerning level of food insecurity challenges in Maryland, the Fresh Food Mobile facilitates ease of access to food and services offered through the Maryland Food Bank's support programs, including the school-based Pantry-on-the-Go program. Since its creation, the Fresh Food Mobile has delivered upwards of 320,000 total meals to individuals in need.

The Ravens and CareFirst will jointly recognize the Huddle Up for Health 2023 grant recipient organization by helping bring their mental health programming to life and highlighting their efforts at a 2023 Baltimore Ravens home game. Applicants can apply for the grant program here through July 28, 2023.

To stay up to date on Huddle Up for Health and learn more about the Ravens' community initiatives and involvement, visit www.baltimoreravens.com/community. For more information on CareFirst's community initiatives, visit www.carefirst.com/community.

About CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

In its 86th 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 2022, CareFirst invested $24.1 million to improve overall health, and increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of healthcare throughout its market areas. To learn more about CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, visit our website at www.carefirst.com and our transforming healthcare page at www.carefirst.com/transformation, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.

*About the Baltimore Ravens *

The Baltimore Ravens are one of six NFL franchises to win multiple Super Bowls since the turn of the century. Under head coach John Harbaugh, who arrived in 2008, Baltimore has posted the NFL's fourth-most total victories (158), won the league's third-most playoff games (11, tied), advanced to an impressive three AFC Championship contests, and in 2012, captured the World Championship in Super Bowl XLVII. The Ravens, who also won Super Bowl XXXV during the 2000 campaign, have made the playoffs in 10 of the past 15 seasons, producing four AFC North Division titles during this time (2011, 2012, 2018 & 2019).