The year 2020 was an extraordinary one for all of us. In the face of so much loss and instability, it is natural that many of us had moments of feeling stuck, or even defeated. But as we took time to honor and acknowledge the losses and challenges, we also witnessed Massachusetts respond to pressing needs, evolve our ways of thinking, and act toward measurable change. Throughout 2020, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation looked for ways to join and support those efforts by centering the voices of those closest to the impact.
We heard from organizations who were meeting the immediate needs of their communities that they needed funds for personal protective equipment, food and medicine, technology, and crisis services for those in mental health distress. We redirected our Special Initiatives and Catalyst Fund grants to be focused in those areas and moved quickly to release funds, while supporting our existing grant partners to adjust their activities as needed.
We engaged our partners, staff, and board members to rethink our approach to addressing inequity. We developed a set of principles to guide us as we embed anti-racist practices into our grantmaking, policy and research, and programs.
We produced data, analysis of promising policy, and educational programs that advocates, providers, journalists, and policymakers used to inform the public and work toward improved access and outcomes for residents.
There are no easy solutions, but there are solutions. In partnership with you, we move forward with vision and purpose in our work to build a more just and equitable health care system.
President & CEO
In 2020 we responded to urgent threats to our Commonwealth’s residents, community-based organizations, and health care system, by providing funding, pragmatic policy analysis, and accessible opportunities for learning.
In 2020 we evolved our approach to addressing the social determinants of health by explicitly naming the role that structural racism plays in creating and maintaining racial inequities in health, and by investing in efforts to diversify the behavioral health workforce.
In 2020, amidst a steady increase in need for mental health and substance use resources, we provided necessary tools and funding for policymakers and providers to take action toward expanding timely access to behavioral health services.
Established with an endowment in 2001, the Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization governed by a 14 member Board of Directors. We collaborate with public and private organizations to broaden health coverage and reduce barriers to care through grants, research, and policy initiatives.
Expanding Access to Behavioral Health Urgent Care
Strengthening the Voice for Access
Connecting Consumers to Care
Special Initiatives COVID-19
Network of Care
Going Beyond Health Care
Policy & Research
The public health emergency meant that for the first time in its 19 year history, the Health Coverage Fellowship was rescheduled, and eventually held online. Despite these challenges, the 12 fellows were able to learn from national and international health experts battling the pandemic in real-time. While the 11th cohort of the Massachusetts Institute for Community Health Leadership program had to be postponed until 2021, State Senator Julian Cyr, a graduate of the 8th MICHL cohort, describes the enduring impact of this unique leadership program.
President and Chief Executive Officer, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center
President and Chief Executive Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Executive Director, Massachusetts Business Roundtable
Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH
Robert A. Knox Professor and Dean, Boston University School of Public Health
Shelly Greenfield, MD, MPH
Chief Academic Officer, and the Kristine M. Trustey Endowed Chair of Psychiatry, McLean Hospital, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Vice President, Business Development, Trinity Financial
Thea James, MD
Vice President of Mission, Associate Chief Medical Officer, and Director of the Violence Intervention Advocate Program (VIAP) at Boston Medical Center; Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine
Antonia McGuire, RN
Senior Consultant, John Snow, Inc.
Strategic Policy Director, Community Catalyst
Bruce Nash, MD (retired from board July 2020)
Chief Physician Executive and Senior Vice President, Health and Medical Management, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Mary Kay Leonard
Henry M. Thomas III, JD
President and Chief Executive Officer, the Urban League of Springfield, Inc.
Board of Directors, Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD)
Audrey Shelto (ex-officio)
President and Chief Executive Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation