; Blue Cross And Blue Shield Of Kansas Foundation Contributions Reach $641,635 In 2013
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Press Release

Blue Cross And Blue Shield Of Kansas Foundation Contributions Reach $641,635 In 2013

January 21, 2014

TOPEKA – With an eye to addressing both the immediate health care needs of uninsured Kansans as well as supporting long-term initiatives to improve the overall health of residents, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation distributed $641,635.96 during 2013 to 260 non-profit entities in its 103-county service area.

The major grants ranged from a combined $129,904 to assist community mental health and community health centers provide immediate care for uninsured and underinsured clients to $55,000 in scholarship dollars to assist the next generation of nurses with their education to $50,000 for health-related exhibits at Kansas public libraries.

The Foundation's single largest program remained Healthy Habits for Life, which provided $149,650.16 through 160 grants for school-based programs supporting cardiovascular health, nutrition education and increased physical activity. In addition, the BCBSKS Foundation contributed $65,000 to United Way organizations and $25,000 towards the Kansas Rural Health Systems pilot.

“Since its inception in 2005, the giving philosophy of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation has remained staunchly focused on programs that expand access to health care, provide health education and improvement, or promote prevention activities," said Marlou Wegener, chief operating officer of the BCBSKS Foundation. "The funding decisions made by the Foundation's board of directors in 2013 support that focus and we are pleased to financially support the outstanding work and efforts of these like-minded organizations."

In addition to those organizations noted above, the BCBSKS Foundation made major grants of $10,000 or more to the following organizations in 2013:

Association of Community Mental Health Centers A total of $72,000 was shared by 24 community mental health centers in the Foundation's service area. Each of the clinics will use its $3,000 contribution to provide mental health services to its uninsured clients.

The following community mental health centers received funding: Area Mental Health Center, Garden City; Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, Inc., Lawrence; Central Kansas Mental Health Center, Salina; Community Mental Health Center of Crawford County, Pittsburg; Cowley County Mental Health & Counseling Center, Winfield; Elizabeth Layton Center, Ottawa; Family Service & Guidance Center, Topeka; Four County Mental Health Center, Independence; High Plains Mental Health Center, Hays; Horizons Mental Health Center, Hutchinson; Iroquois Center for Human Development, Inc., Greensburg; Kanza Mental Health & Guidance Center, Hiawatha; Labette Center for Mental Health Services, Parsons; Mental Health Center of East Central Kansas, Emporia; Pawnee Mental Health Services, Manhattan; Prairie View, Inc., Newton; South Central Mental Health Counseling Center, Inc., Augusta; Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center, Iola; Southwest Guidance Center, Liberal; Spring River Mental Health and Wellness, Inc., Riverton; Sumner Mental Health Center, Wellington; The Center for Counseling and Consultation, Great Bend; The Guidance Center, Inc., Leavenworth; and Valeo Behavioral Health Care, Topeka.

Kansas Association of Medically Underserved Twenty-eight community health clinics in the Foundation's service area shared a total of $57,904, or $2,068 each, to assist with direct health services for the uninsured populations the clinics collectively serve. The following community health centers received funding: Agape Health Clinic, Pratt; Atchison Community Health Clinic, Atchison; Center for Health & Wellness, Inc., Wichita; Cheyenne County Clinic, St. Francis; Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, Pittsburg; Community Health Ministry Clinic, Wamego; Douglas County Dental Clinic, Lawrence; E.C.Tyree Health & Dental Clinic, Wichita; First Care Clinic, Inc., Hays; Flint Hills Community Clinic, Manhattan; Flint Hills Community Health Center, Emporia; GraceMed Health Clinic, Inc., Wichita; Greeley County Health Services, Sharon Springs; Guadalupe Clinic, Inc., Wichita; Health Care Access, Inc., Lawrence; Health Ministries Clinic, Newton; Heart of Kansas Family Health Care, Inc., Great Bend; Heartland Community Health Center, Lawrence; Hoxie Medical Clinic, Hoxie; Hunter Health Clinic, Inc., Wichita; Hutchinson Area Student Health Services, Inc., Hutchinson; Konza Prairie Community Health Center, Junction City; Marian Clinic, Topeka; Mercy Health Systems:

Cherryvale Clinic, Cherryvale; PrairieStar Health Center, Inc., Hutchinson; Saint Vincent Clinic, Leavenworth; Salina Family Healthcare Center, Salina; and United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries, Inc., Garden City.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Scholarships Eleven educational institutions each received $5,000 for scholarships to help one or more nursing students pursue a bachelor of science degree.

Institutions receiving funds for these scholarships were: Baker University, Benedictine College, Emporia State University, Kansas Wesleyan University, Newman University, Pittsburg State University, Southwestern College, Tabor College, University of Saint Mary, Washburn University and Wichita State University.

Kansas Public Library Association

The Kansas Public Library Association will use the $50,000 it received to purchase 40 traveling health literacy stations that will focus on health and wellness topics. Each of the stations will include a stand, iPad and numerous health applications and software that library patrons may use for learning. The association also will purchase promotional materials and train library staff on how to use and promote the exhibits that will travel to 365 public libraries. For more information on this program, please contact Candace LeDuc, communications coordinator, State Library of Kansas, candace.leduc@library.ks.gov or (785) 291-3230.

ChildCare Aware of Kansas, Inc.

ChildCare Aware of Kansas, a resource and referral agency providing child care referrals, offering opportunities for technical assistance for child care centers and distributing helpful child development information, will use its $30,000 grant to support an early childhood wellness project. The project will encourage positive eating habits and regular exercise in young children, including educational materials and items for 480 child care providers in 60 child care centers. ChildCare Aware will offer a professional development session to distribute the curriculum, as well as monthly technical assistance and contact with the centers to evaluate the use of the health and wellness curriculum. For more information, contact Leadell Ediger, executive director, at leadell@ks.childcareaware.org or (785) 823-3343.

American Red Cross

In conjunction with a community disaster response team comprised entirely of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas employees, a $25,000 contribution to American Red Cross marked the second year of a three-year commitment by the BCBSKS Foundation. The American Red Cross will use the funds for direct services to Kansans impacted by disaster in a 103-county area. For more information, contact Joann Long, community chapter executive, joann.long@redcross.org or (785) 354-9237.

Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities, Inc.

Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities, Inc. (KCCTO), an organization dedicated to improving the quality of child care and early childhood settings through affordable, accessible, high-quality professional development opportunities for the Kansas early education work force, plans to use its $25,000 grant to purchase licensed online training modules entitled "Preventing Obesity and Promoting Wellness in Kansas." These modules will provide training opportunities for every child care teacher, Head Start teacher, pre-K teacher and child care center administrator in 103 Kansas counties (372 centers and 3,986 family child care homes), assisting each in meeting required continuing education hours to retain certification. For more information, contact Kasey Kile, KCCTO training and curriculum specialist, kak6868@ksu.edu or (785) 532-7197.

Kansas Children’s Discovery Center

The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center in Topeka intends to use its $24,939 grant to fund programs that support health, wellness and physical activity exhibits. Specifically, to purchase supplies and equipment for a vegetable garden and science program; to purchase bicycles, pedal cars and tricycles for a Science of Cycling program that will support physical activity curriculum in the center's outdoor area; and to secure an Eat Well, Play Well traveling exhibit,  including programming and materials, for a nine-month stay at the center. For more information, contact Joanne Morrell, executive director, jmorrell@kansasdiscovery.org or  (785) 783-8300.

Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition

A $10,000 contribution will assist with the development of local breastfeeding coalitions in 103 Kansas counties. The coalitions are comprised of advocates of breastfeeding in a variety of professional capacities, with the goal being to increase the number of current coalitions in Kansas from 16 to 21. Each coalition will be led by a facilitator charged with recruiting and training other members as well as offering community education about the importance of breastfeeding and how it supports life-long health. For more information, contact Brenda Bandy, program director, bandy@kansasbusinesscase.com or (785) 539-3993.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
For more than 70 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has built a reputation of trust with its members and contracting providers by providing outstanding customer service while quickly and accurately processing claims; fairly administering benefit plans and contracts; offering programs, services and tools to help members improve or maintain their health; and operating under the highest ethical standards while being good stewards of premium dollars. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and is the state’s largest insurer, serving all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte. For more information, visit www.bcbsks.com.

About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation promotes the good health of Kansans who live in the Foundation’s 103-county service area. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, the largest health insurer in the state, incorporated the Foundation in 2005 as a way to further deepen its commitment to helping all Kansans lead healthier lives, an effort which both entities believe is an essential factor in keeping health care affordable. Through its giving, the Foundation focuses on key health issues that can impact the lives of many Kansans. It funds programs and activities that are, at their core, health-related and in particular, promote health improvement, health care access, health education, healthy behaviors and prevention initiatives. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Both entities serve all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte. For more information on the Foundation, visit www.bcbsks.com/foundation.

                              

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for nearly 100 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.