Grantmaking for Affordable Health Care

Top Quote Audrey Shelto, President of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, Speaks at the Fall Event for Women in Development of Greater Boston (WID). End Quote
  • Boston, MA-NH (1888PressRelease) October 26, 2013 - On November 5, Audrey Shelto, President of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, the independent charity founded by an endowment from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, will be the keynote speaker at Women in Development of Greater Boston's Annual Fall Event. Ms. Shelto will share an overview of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation's grant funding strategies and will lead a panel discussion about growing the foundation and supporting the causes they care about. Since its creation in 2001, the Foundation has been at the forefront of initiatives that helped shape health reform in Massachusetts. They support many organizations and individuals that are bringing about positive changes, every day, on the front lines of health care.

    Joining Ms. Shelto on the panel are Jessica Larochelle, Director of Evaluation and Strategic Initiatives and Celeste Reid Lee, Senior Director of Grantmaking. Following a presentation by Ms. Shelto, the panel discussion will focus on grantmaking and the career tracks of these highly successful women in development.

    The mission of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation is to expand access to health care. It focuses on collaborating with public and private stakeholders to develop measurable and sustainable solutions that benefit uninsured, vulnerable, and low-income individuals and families in the Commonwealth. It operates separately from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and is governed by its own Board of Directors. Grants are awarded in making health care affordable, strengthening the voice for access, connecting consumers with care and cost and affordability policy and research, and strategic initiatives in health care.

    WID programs feature distinguished speakers on a variety of topics, skill-building workshops, and special seminars on timely issues for all levels of development professionals, including social networking events and the WID Annual Meeting.

    The public is invited to attend the breakfast on November 5 at The Westin Copley Place, 10 Huntington Avenue, Boston, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Tickets are $45 and are available at

    About the Speakers
    Audrey Shelto was appointed as president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation in May 2013. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Shelto was the Chief Executive Officer of Blue Care Partnership which was formed to participate in the federal and state demonstration project to integrate care for Medicare-Medicaid enrollees. She previously served as Senior Vice President for Health and Wellness, leading the development of a new member-centered model of health management designed to improve health care quality and affordability outcomes. Ms. Shelto's previous professional experience also includes senior management positions at Neighborhood Health Plan, the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Health Care, the Massachusetts' Department of Mental Health and the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance.

    Jessica Larochelle, Director of Evaluation and Strategic Initiatives, oversees evaluation at the Foundation to assess the impact of grantmaking, identify trends to inform policy work, and bring best practices and lessons learned to scale. She also works on affordability and cost containment initiatives that span both the grantmaking and policy arms of the Foundation. She served as Project Coordinator from 2003 to 2005. Most recently, Ms. Larochelle served as Field Director at Families USA where she had the opportunity to work with consumer health advocates from across the nation on Medicaid defense, as well as Affordable Care Act implementation and public education. Prior to her time at Families USA, Ms. Larochelle served as Executive Director of Consumer Health Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to quality, affordable health care in Pittsburgh, PA. She holds a master's degree in health policy and management from the Harvard School of Public Health and a bachelor's degree from Cornell University.

    Celeste Reid Lee, Senior Director of Grantmaking, oversees the Foundation's grantmaking work. She returned to the Foundation in 2012, and had previously served as the first director of Community Health Partnerships when the Foundation was created in 2001. During that six-year tenure at the Foundation, she managed a portfolio of grants focused on cultural competence, health care disparities, and children's mental health. Prior to her return to the Foundation, Ms. Reid Lee was the senior director of Member, Account & Provider Enrollment at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

    Her more than 15-year history with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts includes roles as senior director of Business Relations and Supplier Diversity, executive director of the company's WellChild Foundation for children's mental and emotional health, and director of Community Relations. Before coming to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Ms. Reid Lee held a variety of management positions at Boston-based organizations, largely in public relations and marketing communications. She also previously led her own Boston-based marketing communications firm. Ms. Reid Lee holds a master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and bachelor's degree from the University of New Hampshire.

    For more information about Ms. Shelto, Ms. Larochelle, Ms. Reid Lee or the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, visit:

    About Women in Development
    Established in 1980, Women in Development of Greater Boston ( is a nonprofit professional association of nearly 1,000 members whose mission is to promote the importance of philanthropy and support the advancement of women in the development profession. The organization offers a variety of programs, services and opportunities for volunteer involvement and is one of the largest organizations of advancement professionals in Massachusetts.

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