CareFirst Careers

Innovation Strategist

Resp & Qualifications

Healthworx operates at the intersection of healthcare and innovation by creating, co-creating and investing in solutions that are improving healthcare quality, accessibility and affordability. As the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst, Healthworx engages the startup, early and late stage business ecosystem across the country, targeting and executing strategic opportunities that address the needs of CareFirst, its members and the national healthcare landscape.

Healthworx is seeking an Innovation Specialist to be responsible for the delivery of solution sets (e.g. new products, processes, businesses, etc.)  to real-world problems, challenges and opportunities of strategic interest to CareFirst. This role includes working closely with a small, dedicated solution development team (or “pod”) to create innovative solutions from opportunity through concept and validation.  This individual must be proficient with collaboratively facilitating the design strategic solutions (e.g. technical, process, etc.), making sense of user needs   We are looking for an team member who thrives in engaging internal partners, learning from subject matter experts, mapping patterns, and busting complexity in partnership with CareFirst associates in the pursuit of breakthrough solutions. Using broad experience in user research, human-centered design techniques, lean sprints and rapid, iterative prototyping, the Specialist supports the high-quality, fast-paced delivery of a pipeline of impactful solutions that address healthcare quality, access and affordability using new technologies and business models 

Development and delivery of solution sets (products, businesses, processes, etc.) from problem to proof of concept to validated minimum viable product (MVP):
• Understands human-centered design and Lean/Agile methodologies and performs key activities using these methodologies and respective tools
• Conducts research and analysis of complex problem spaces leveraging primary & secondary research, and turns research into user centered insights, problems and solutions
• Actively participates (and may lead) user interviews and other activities with stakeholders, SMEs
• Through user exploration and testing cycles, gather requirements, generate shared understanding, work through tradeoffs, produce ideas, and deliver optimal solutions
• Comfort and demonstrated ability to design effective experiments, gather data, recognize patterns and signals, and utilize learnings to iterate and evolve the solution set
• Demonstrate the ability to partner with various stakeholders and associate groups
• Contributes to (and may lead) discussions, working sessions, and workshops through active planning, collaboration, strong questioning, action items, and sharing knowledge
• Develops storyline for project planning, testing cycles/results, and solution evolution
• Build trust through exemplifying embedded user-centered solution design to the organization
• Continuously learn through self-study, engagement with the innovation community, and professional development opportunities (e.g. books, workshops, conferences, certifications)
• General understanding of healthcare industry, CareFirst business lines, and the competitive environment
• Iterate on prototypes and proofs of concept to identify new potential solutions and business models for commercialization and/or internal transformation
• Contribute to business modeling for proposed solution(s) and partner with stakeholders as needed
• Perform against action plans, meetings, recaps, prepare presentation materials, ad hoc analyses, and other supporting materials as needed
• Participate in cross functional teams (including Healthworx resources, CareFirst associates and external partners) and drive progress towards milestones and deliverables

Data-driven strategic recommendations: Contribute to recommendations and capture of key metrics, outcomes, and measures of solution validation at each stage of development and cycle (Research, Design, Development, Beta test, etc.). Leverage these outputs to support recommendations made to the Innovation Strategist and Innovation Director for presentations to governance bodies (Healthworx and CareFirst leaders), whether to advance the solution to a next stage, pivot, or discontinue, etc.
Other duties as identified, occasional travel (post-COVID)


Bachelor's degree in Design, Business, Computer Science, Information Systems, Engineering or equivalent

Years of Experience: 3+ years experience working in an innovation role  – at a specialized consulting firm, incubator, accelerator, venture studio, a design firm, and/or within a corporate innovation team OR 3 years in a product development, product strategy, or a startup  leadership role with oversight of multiple concurrent initiatives and teams of direct and indirect reports, preferably experience building tech solutions

Preferred Qualifications:
• Prior experience working in Startup/Incubator environment, Product Teams, Digital Agencies, Corporate Innovation, and/or Strategy Consulting
• Prior experience in heavily regulated industries, tech, healthcare or other digital companies and early ventures

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Strategic thinker with the ability to build and execute innovative solution sets (e.g. digital, tech, process or otherwise), combined with tactical ability to execute simultaneously against multiple competing priorities
Strong communication, active listening, critical thinking, and presentation skills
Passionate about healthcare, corporate innovation, CareFirst’s core business evolution, industry trends, events
Ability to work and manage projects independently. Ability to work without supervision
Experience working with teams comprised of a variety of skills (customer development, experience design, software development, marketing, project management, education, ops)
Can apply human-centered design and lean/agile methodologies of solving user problems, designing for ideal experience, ideating expansively, prioritization based on validation and learnings cycles, collaborating and iterating and testing early, nimbly, and often
Can demonstrate comfort with ambiguity and change, and introduce strong thinking, planning, and activities to identify the best solutions
Work autonomously, anticipate issues & challenges, propose solutions prior to being prompted
Can confidently plan and follow well-established approaches to solve problems
Can demonstrate knowledge and application of one or more design competencies e.g. user research, content strategy, information architecture, interaction design, user interface design, visual design, usability testing, etc.
Proficiency in  common design tools or 
Literate with front-end technologies and standards, how these inform the work, and how to effectively communicate with developers and architects in their own language is a plus
Proficiency in Microsoft Office packages, business communication tools, and common innovation tools (e.g. Jira, AirTable, Mural, Mentimeter, etc.)

Equal Employment Opportunity

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is an Equal Opportunity (EEO) employer.  It is the policy of the Company to provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

Hire Range Disclaimer

Actual salary will be based on relevant job experience and work history.

Where To Apply

Please visit our website to apply:

Closing Date

Please apply before: 4.21.21

Federal Disc/Physical Demand

Note:  The incumbent is required to immediately disclose any debarment, exclusion, or other event that makes him/her ineligible to perform work directly or indirectly on Federal health care programs.


The associate is primarily seated while performing the duties of the position.  Occasional walking or standing is required.  The hands are regularly used to write, type, key and handle or feel small controls and objects.  The associate must frequently talk and hear.  Weights up to 25 pounds are occasionally lifted.

Sponsorship in US

Must be eligible to work in the U.S. without Sponsorship

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