Barbara Morales Burke Joins FHLI, Will Oversee and Guide the Innovative NCCARE360 Partnership

Morales Burke will work closely with new President and CEO, Kelly Calabria, to chart FHLI’s long-term strategy

CARY — The Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation (FHLI), a leading North Carolina nonprofit supporting whole-person health throughout the state, announced today that Barbara Morales Burke has joined the organization as Vice President of NCCARE360 and Strategy.

“Barbara is well-known throughout our state, and the nation, for personally and professionally acting as a champion for whole-person health,” said FHLI’s President and Chief Executive Officer Kelly Calabria. “I can think of no better person to lead FHLI’s involvement with NCCARE360, working closely with our partners at the Department of Health and Human Services, and to help shape FHLI’s strategy as our state faces an unprecedented opportunity to improve health and ensure health equity.”

Morales Burke is a seasoned executive with more than 30 years of experience helping to lead government agencies — as well as private and non-profit organizations — through complex challenges. She has particular expertise in health care, insurance, government, public policy, strategy and public affairs. In her professional roles, as well as in her personal community service endeavors, Morales Burke has focused on increasing people’s well-being and opportunities — whether through regulatory, public or fiscal policy, effective government, or delivery of community support services.

Morales Burke served as Vice President of Health Policy at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina from 2009 through 2020, where she engaged with state and federal regulatory agencies on policy in the insurance and health care space, and on behalf of the Company, helped shape industry trade associations’ positions on regulatory and legislative policy. Much of this work was focused on the Affordable Care Act, improving access to care, and increasing affordability.

Prior to moving to the private sector, Morales Burke had a 24-year career in public service, primarily in North Carolina state government, and culminating in a position as the number two at a state agency led by an independently elected statewide official. Morales Burke served the citizens of North Carolina for 20 years – 16 with the N.C. Department of Insurance (NCDOI), where she held a variety of progressively responsible leadership positions, including Chief Deputy Commissioner. One of her earliest roles at NCDOI was Deputy Commissioner for Managed Care, where she was responsible for developing foundational regulatory product policy and enforcement for managed care health plans in North Carolina. In later roles, her responsibility for regulatory policy expanded to include all types of insurance and all functional areas of regulation. During her tenure, she played a key role in creating a pioneering state program to provide consumers with an independent external medical review of health insurer medical denials, as well as the development of a health insurance pool for individuals deemed “high-risk” and who were unable to obtain private coverage.

Morales Burke joins FHLI at a time of evolution and growth for the organization. Calabria joined FHLI as the new President and CEO in December, joining a dedicated team of experts who lead programs that include the Bernstein Fellows program, Center of Excellence for Integrated Care, NC Oral Health Collaborative, NC Rural Health Leadership Alliance, PRISM, Results NC, and Rural Forward NC. 

“This is a team that has a mature understanding of equity,” said Morales Burke. “This team knows that the only way to address the most granular community challenges, is to empower the community to participate in the discussion. These are the reasons I joined the FHLI team.” 

Morales Burke is Board Chair of Wake County Smart Start and Board Vice Chair of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina. She is active in the food bank community, and previously served on the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina’s Board. Barbara also serves in an advisory role to the Board of Feeding the Carolinas, and to the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust (Health Improvement Advisory Committee.)

About FHLI

The Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation (FHLI) is a nonprofit organization that envisions healthy communities across North Carolina where everyone can flourish. FHLI develops and supports innovative partnerships that build a healthier North Carolina through collaboration and respect. With a long history in the state — and a deep understanding of its health care needs — FHLI scales solutions that benefit the entire state. FHLI staff are thought leaders and experts who bring communities together for a better, healthier North Carolina. Learn more at

About NCCARE360

NCCARE360 is the first statewide network that unites health care and human services organizations with a shared technology that enables a coordinated, community-oriented, person-centered approach for delivering care in North Carolina. NCCARE360 is the result of a strong public-private partnership between the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation (FHLI). The NCCARE360 implementation team includes United Way of NC, NC 2-1-1, Expound Decision Systems, and Unite Us.