; Blue Shield of California Foundation Announces $11.4 Million in First-Quarter Grants
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Press Release

Blue Shield of California Foundation Announces $11.4 Million in First-Quarter Grants

Core support dollars to help community health centers, domestic violence agencies during time of change

March 21, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO - Blue Shield of California Foundation (BSCF) today announced $11.4 million in first-quarter funding. The majority of these funds will provide community health centers and domestic violence service providers with core operating funds, which are especially important at a time of great change in both fields. 

“Over the next five years, frontline health care and domestic violence service providers must reinvent themselves to keep up with rapid changes in the world around them,” said Peter V. Long, Ph.D., president and CEO of BSCF. “Core support makes it possible for these providers to innovate for tomorrow while continuing to serve Californians in need today.”

Community health centers are undergoing a major shift as they prepare for a new and expanded role in 2014 when millions of uninsured Californians become eligible for coverage through Medi-Cal and the California Health Benefits Exchange. Success in the future will require community health centers to change how they deliver and manage care. Meanwhile, domestic violence service providers are undergoing their own transformation, responding to increased demand for services and growing diversity in California’s population.

Long explained that the Foundation is playing a major role in helping community health and domestic violence agencies adapt to the rapidly evolving environment awarding grants intended to foster innovation. He emphasizes that core support gives frontline providers a strong base to transform their systems and learn new approaches to delivering vital services.


The following provides an overview of new funding aimed at improving the health care and coverage of low-income Californians.

 2012 Community Health Center Core Support Initiative

More than 200 California-licensed community, free, and tribal health centers around the state provide health services to more than 4.8 million of California’s most vulnerable residents, many of whom are uninsured or underinsured. Recognizing the important role these health centers play in the healthcare safety net and the challenges they face in stitching together funding from many sources, BSCF has invested more than $52 million in core support to the state’s community health centers since 2003.

In 2012, the Foundation will award up to $5 million in new core support grants to help these safety net providers to increase access to primary healthcare services for uninsured Californians. This flexible funding also makes it easier for community health centers to take significant steps to prepare for the full implementation of healthcare reform in 2014.

Additional Health Care and Coverage Grants

George Washington University ($405,044 over 18 months): The university’s National Health Policy Forum will educate policymakers about the role of community health centers in an evolving healthcare system in California and nationwide.

National Academy of Sciences ($375,000 over 12 months): The Academy’s  Institute of Medicine will convene experts to measure progress toward achieving better experience for individuals, better health for populations, and lower per capita costs nationally.

Project HOPE - The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc. ($175,000 over 12 months): Project HOPE’s Health Affairs will publish and disseminate research about the impact of health reform on the safety net in California and nationwide.

Nonprofit Finance Fund ($220,000 over 18 months): To expand a California Catalyst Fund to engage community health centers and consortia in strategic restructuring projects, including collaborative ventures and mergers.

Fresno Healthy Communities Access Partners ($200,000 over 12 months): To improve access to health care for underserved populations by establishing an integrated family medicine residency program in the Central Valley.

Tides Center ($165,000 over 12 months): Tide’s The Children’s Partnership project will promote strategies to ensure California’s Medi-Cal and the Health Benefits Exchange enrollment system is easy to use for consumers.

County of Yolo ($100,000 over 12 months): To help the county establish a Low Income Health Program to expand coverage for low-income residents and prepare for full implementation of health reform in 2014.


The following is an overview of new funding aimed at ending domestic violence (DV) in California.

Blue Shield Against Violence Core Support Initiative

The Foundation will provide up to $3.65 million over two years for core support to DV service providers across California. Since 2002, BSCF has provided nearly $11 million to more than 115 California DV organizations through this Core Support Initiative. A formal evaluation of the initiative indicates these relatively small grants have an oversized impact because they are unrestricted, and help DV organizations successfully leverage other funds.

Improving Cultural Competence

As part of its effort to strengthen the entire field of DV service providers in California, the Foundation has identified a significant need to strengthen the cultural competency of service providers. Toward that end, BSCF is announcing the following grants building on14 grants totaling $14 million announced in December 2011:

California Black Women's Health Project ($150,000 over 24 months), East Los Angeles Women's Center ($300,000 over 24 months) and Asian Women's Shelter ($121,175 over 24 months): To support and promote promising, culturally-competent practices for delivering DV services to high-need, underserved populations in California.

Social Policy Research Associates ($340,000 over 30 months): To assess,  capture, and share lessons from grantees working to strengthen the cultural competency of California’s DV field.

Additional Blue Shield Against Violence grants

Rural Human Services ($100,000 over 24 months) and Family Violence Law Center ($75,000 over 12 months): To document succession planning and executive transitions, and share case studies with the California DV field to inform future leadership transitions.

Blue Shield of California Foundation
Blue Shield of California Foundation is one of the state’s largest healthcare grantmaking organizations. Visit: www.blueshieldcafoundation.org. The Foundation was formed by Blue Shield of California, a not-for-profit corporation with more than 3.4 million members, 4,800 employees, and 20 offices throughout California. Visit: www.blueshieldca.com.


The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 105 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.