DURHAM, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) has named Kelly Calabria to the newly formed role of senior vice president, chief marketing and corporate social responsibility officer. Calabria will become a member of the executive leadership team reporting directly to president and CEO Tunde Sotunde on August 15.
In her role, Calabria will be responsible for leading the division of corporate social responsibility, brand management and marketing. Areas of focus for the division include addressing social drivers of health, community health equity and environmental social governance to improve the health and well-being of customers and communities. The division will create new market opportunities while enabling sustainable growth for the company and provide a deeper integration of social and philanthropic initiatives into the company’s footprint while strengthening the Blue Cross NC brand.
“Kelly brings with her a deep understanding of not just the health care system, but North Carolina and the needs of communities in all corners of the state. Her passion for meeting health policy and advocacy with health equity makes her the right leader to take on this critical role in achieving better health care for all customers and communities,” said Blue Cross NC CEO and president Dr. Tunde Sotunde.
A North Carolina native who grew up in Johnston County, Calabria brings more than 20 years experience in roles that intersect business, brand strategy, health care, policy, community engagement and government. Calabria most recently served as the president and CEO of the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation based in Cary, NC. The nonprofit is known for its roots in building advocating for rural health. The organization advances health equity through community-driven action and systems-level policy advocacy.
Through this work, Calabria led a team focused on supporting rural and marginalized communities, including those facing access and outcome disparities across the health care spectrum. She oversaw and managed key health initiatives for North Carolina, among them the launch of NCCARE360, the first statewide referral platform that connects individuals to local services and resources, particularly focused on housing, food, transportation, and interpersonal violence.
“It is a privilege and honor to join a team that shows up each day dedicated to improving the lives of all North Carolinians,” said Calabria. “I look forward to listening, learning and using my skills to make health care more accessible and equitable for all and to strengthen a state that has been so good to me in all stages of my own life.”
Previously, Calabria served in a variety of leadership roles at leading communications and marketing agencies, including at Ketchum, a global communications consultancy, and as a senior leader at Capstrat, a local powerhouse agency based in Raleigh before it was acquired by Ketchum. Most recently, she served as executive vice president and managing director for Ketchum’s North America health practice where she led the communications, marketing, and brand strategy business unit teams.
Calabria is a member of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health Advisory Board. Her accolades include PR Week 40 Under 40 2018 list, Triangle Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list, and the Triangle Business Journal’s Women in Business award. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism and political science.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is committed to making health care better, simpler and more affordable. We have been driving better health in North Carolina since 1933, working to tackle our communities’ greatest health challenges. Blue Cross NC serves its customers and communities of 4.3 million members, including approximately 1.1 million on behalf of other Blue Plans. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at www.bluecrossnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.