2015 grants build capacity of health centers and support healthier communities
Philadelphia, PA – December 17, 2015
The Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation) today announced its second major wave of funding that includes 74 grants in southeastern Pennsylvania, totaling nearly $3.3 million. The grants target three primary areas: strengthening the health care safety net, building healthier communities, and improving child health and wellness. These grants supplement nearly $1.8 million in grants the Foundation awarded earlier this year to help strengthen the nursing workforce through education, career development, and research.
Of the $3.3 million, the Foundation awarded nearly $2.5 million in general operating grants to 43 community health centers in southeastern Pennsylvania. Through the Foundation’s Blue Safety Net program nearly $10 million in grants have been awarded to date to community health centers, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, free clinics, and hospital system affiliated clinics.
The $3.3 million funding also includes nine additional grants totaling more than $520,000 to build community health center capacity. This includes several innovative pilots in telemedicine, mobile dental, and trauma-informed care, which focuses on lifelong care for victims of violence, crime, and other traumatic events that can negatively affect a person’s current and future physical and mental health.
The new grants were developed in response to the results of a Blue Safety Net needs assessment funded by the Foundation and conducted by Drexel University’s School of Public Health earlier this year. The assessment led to the Foundation identifying two areas of focus: to increase access to care through technology and to implement new models to improve care coordination.
“We are proud that our funding will continue to help our community partners address some of our most prevalent health care challenges, such as access to quality care for our most vulnerable populations,” said Lorina Marshall-Blake, president of the Foundation. “We’re also excited to be adding new support for a rapidly growing area in health care that addresses the unique needs of caring for people who have experienced a variety of traumatic events.”
Through its Building Healthier Communities grant program, the Foundation partners with community organizations offering programs that improve the health and wellness of the people of southeastern Pennsylvania. The $3.3 million includes $276,000 in funding to 21 organizations, including the following new grantees:
- Adults with Developmental Disabilities: To help special needs adults develop skills for more independent living;
- Common Market Philadelphia, Inc.: To design and conduct a study measuring the effect of the Farm Share on the health of participants and on the cost of their health insurance;
- Headstrong Foundation: To address the primary needs of cancer patients after discharge from a long hospital stay;
- Mighty Writers: To teach children and young adults from low income areas to write and think with clarity;
- Peoples Emergency Center: To fund uGo, which provides free and fun opportunities to create healthier, more active communities;
- Peter’s Place: For bereavement services for children, primarily in low income communities;
- Rolling Harvest Food Rescue: To provide fresh foods from local farmers to hunger relief sites that help families in Bucks County
- Turning Points for Children: To address food insecurity through a community based pantry that is connected to more than 4,000 households;
- Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians: To implement employment education for foreign-trained health professionals.
Through the second wave of funding, the Foundation also furthered support for its comprehensive three-year, $3 million child wellness initiative Healthy Futures with a $25,000 grant to GENYOUth. The grant will support GENYOUth’s flagship program, Fuel Up to Play 60, an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Football League and National Dairy Council, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture. The program curriculum empowers students to innovate and lead sustainable healthy changes in their lives and in their school. The grant will fund a pilot in six Healthy Futures schools in five counties.
Launched in August 2013, Healthy Futures offers programming in 25 regional schools, directly affecting more than 1,000 students and their families. Other Healthy Futures partners include The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Drexel University, Garces Foundation, Greener Partners, Philadelphia Freedoms, The Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Union, and Vetri Community Partnership.
About the Independence Blue Cross Foundation:
The Independence Blue Cross Foundation is a charitable, private foundation, whose mission is leading solutions for a healthier community. The Foundation targets the following areas of impact:
- Securing the Blue Safety Net:Achieving sustainability of the regional safety net by building capacity in health centers.
- Bolstering the Health Care Workforce:Advancing the education and professional development of nurses and nurse leaders.
- Addressing Health Priorities:Addressing national health trends locally through community-driven research.
- Building Healthy Communities:Driving wellness by targeting specific and diverse community health needs.
Independence Blue Cross