Today We

fund NC community colleges to empower tomorrow’s emergency medical responders.

How do we help address the opioid epidemic in our state? Empower the people on the front lines.

Like much of the country, North Carolina has seen dramatic increases in addiction and overdose rates in recent years. Since 2010, deaths resulting from heroin overdoses in North Carolina increased 884 percent.1 This increase emphasizes the importance of sufficiently trained emergency medical personnel.

To help meet this need, Blue Cross NC has invested $1 million with the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) to enhance associate degree program funding in emergency medical science (EMS). The funding will support programs at five community colleges across the state: Brunswick, Lenoir, Rockingham, South Piedmont and Wilkes.

The Investment Will:

Support advanced coursework for EMS faculty, with a focus on targeting best practices for safety and patient treatment.


Replace outdated training methods with state-of the-art equipment and technology, including simulation manikins that give students real-time feedback.


Increase funding for subject matter-expert tutors, simulation lab faculty and student scholarships, and emergency funds.

The investment will help combat the opioid epidemic in the areas with some of the most opioid deaths in the state. Research shows that health professionals who train in rural and underserved areas are more likely to remain there.2