; Blue & You Foundation Awards $2.2 Million In Grants To Improve Health
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Press Release

Blue & You Foundation Awards $2.2 Million In Grants To Improve Health

January 23, 2013

LITTLE ROCK – The Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas has awarded a total of $2,237,910 in grants to 33 health improvement programs in Arkansas.

“Our grants this year went to programs across the state that address such issues as nutrition and exercise, dental and mental health, and medical professional education,” said Patrick O’Sullivan, executive director of the Blue & You Foundation.

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield established the Blue & You Foundation in 2001 as a charitable foundation to promote better health in Arkansas. The Blue & You Foundation awards grants annually to non-profit or governmental organizations and programs that positively affect the health of Arkansans.

In its 11 years of operation, the Blue & You Foundation has awarded more than $16 million to 326 health improvement programs in Arkansas.

The grants awarded for 2013 are:

Arkansas Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics Foundation, Little Rock ($149,029) - Improving Patient Care Through Practice Transformation and Education will build the statewide infrastructure to transform pediatric practices through learning collaboratives and quality improvement. The project utilizes an existing Asthma Project, national collaborators, and local expertise to engage stakeholders and build Patient-Centered Medical Homes.

Arkansas Children's Hospital Foundation, Little Rock ($100,000) - The Dental Sealant Program will continue providing primary dental care and cavity protection to approximately 1,000 at-risk and medically challenged school-aged children in areas of need in south Arkansas and parts of the Delta.

Arkansas Department of Health, Little Rock ($140,485) - The Arkansas Stroke Registry will improve the quality of care for all stroke patients treated in Arkansas hospitals.

Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance (Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention), Little Rock ($150,000) - Growing Healthy Communities: From the State Capital to the City Hall, Increasing Regional and Local Involvement will train and fund regional and local projects that will increase access to healthy and affordable foods, increase opportunity for physical activity, and encourage policy change and advocacy throughout the state.

Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, Harrison ($50,000) - The Eyes of a Champion Program will provide free eye exams and glasses to 880 preschool through 12th grade students in Arkansas. Funding will provide eye exams and glasses for underserved students, along with educational material to nurses, counselors and optometrists.

CAPCA, Inc., Conway ($62,210) - Oral Health & Healthy Nutrition for At-Risk Children: Building Strong Bodies & Teeth will provide oral health education, resources, dental services, healthy nutrition and education for 1,610 at-risk children in Faulkner, Cleburne, White and Desha Counties.

CareLink, North Little Rock ($45,090) - HomeMeds Program will identify, assess and resolve medication problems by expanding an evidence-based medication management improvement system for 500 Medicaid home-care clients in six counties in Arkansas.

Centers for Youth and Families, Little Rock ($5,950) - Mental Health First Aid Training will equip individuals of all ages, races and socioeconomic backgrounds in Arkansas with tools to address mental health needs and build stronger children, families and communities.

City of Lockesburg, Lockesburg ($40,000) - Project Play will provide a safe community park for the 735 residents of Lockesburg in Sevier County. The funding is for improvements to the basketball court and adding playground equipment for the encouragement of physical activity.

Community First Wellness, Nashville ($99,500) - Healthier Howard County will provide direct health education and awareness programs to at least 1,000 youth and adults, encouraging healthy nutrition, promoting physical activity and increasing health literacy.

Community Health Centers of Arkansas, Inc., North Little Rock ($82,917) - The Documentation/Data Entry Redesign Project will use data to validate and drive quality improvement in Diabetes/Cardiovascular Disease measures via improved/proper electronic medical record utilization and use of the data warehouse. This project will impact 154,577 patients across Arkansas.

Cushman United Methodist Church, Cushman ($2,000) - Helping Hands Food Pantry will feed the hungry, impacting the lives of 1,200-1,500 people in Independence County and surrounding areas. Funding will be used to purchase food and household products.

Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas, Inc., Jonesboro ($5,000) - The Senior Pack Program will provide increased nutritional value in the 26 food boxes provided annually to the recipients in Craighead, Greene, Jackson, Lawrence and Poinsett Counties.

Franklin County EMS, Ozark ($135,878) - Cardiac Monitor Upgrade will update four current cardiac monitors by purchasing new monitors to replace them. This funding will be beneficial to all citizens of Franklin County who might need medical assistance.

Gaines House, Inc., Little Rock ($35,000) - Uplifting the Health of Indigent Women will provide funding for basic physical and mental health-care costs for women residing at Gaines House who have no other sources to pay for these services.

Greater Delta Alliance for Health, Inc., DeWitt ($71,576) - The Provider Education Program will provide health literacy education to health-care providers throughout Southeast Arkansas and improve the communication gap between local providers and their patients. The project will also promote the utilization of local health-care resources through a comprehensive resource directory of services.

Magnolia Hospital Foundation, Magnolia ($17,828) - The Magnolia Regional Medical Center Wellness Park will promote fitness and healthy lifestyles by providing an area specifically targeting those needs for all ages. Funding will be used to underwrite the cost of renovating the existing city park into a wellness park.

Mississippi County, Arkansas Economic Opportunity Commission, Inc., Blytheville, ($41,660) - Healthy Futures will provide 40 early childhood classroom teachers with training and curriculum materials for a comprehensive early childhood PE program and support for child nutrition.  Six hundred parents will receive the “We Can” parenting training to address childhood obesity.

Monticello School District, Monticello, ($80,000) - Healthier US Schools-Monticello will use the 2012 USDA School Meal Requirements as a "hub" around which to educate 1,424 Monticello School District students in grades K-8, their families, 535 employees and Drew County residents about healthy eating and physical activity. Funding is for Registered Dietitians to provide guidance to the District to provide a healthy school environment and for a part-time school gardener to encourage increased acceptance of fruits and vegetables.

Our House, Inc., Little Rock ($50,000) - Improving the Health of Homeless and Formerly Homeless Families in Central Arkansas builds the partnerships, resources and evaluation systems that will significantly improve the health status and health-care access of the 1,000 homeless and formerly homeless clients served each year.

Pulaski Technical College Foundation, North Little Rock ($56,000) - Creating State-of-the-Art Replicable Distance Education to Train Tomorrow’s Health-Care Professionals will implement an effective state-of-the-art replicable model for distance education in anesthesia technology with enrollment of 10 students in the first year of instruction in Benton, Washington, Craighead, Jefferson, Saline, Pulaski and White Counties.

Samaritan House Community Center, Rogers ($15,000) - Samaritan Health Clinic will expand its dental program to offer a full range of dental services (extractions, restorative, preventive) for 250 uninsured adults in Benton and Washington Counties.

Save the Children Federation, Inc., Maumelle ($40,000) - After-School Healthy Choices aims to improve the health of 500 youth ages 5-12 in Crittenden, Lee, Mississippi, Ouachita, Phillips, St. Francis and Woodruff Counties through after-school physical activity, healthy snacks and health education programming.

Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Pulaski County, Little Rock ($13,260) - Healthy Eating on a Shoestring Budget will provide education to low-income, single-parent students on the role of nutrition, and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle by making affordable, positive choices. Seventy single-parent Pulaski County families (240 individuals) will benefit.

St. Bernards Development Foundation, Jonesboro ($112,860) - Fit 4 Life: Mission Possible on the Mile will give skills and knowledge to 710 underserved children ages 3-12 in Craighead County to improve their nutrition and fitness for lifelong health.

St. Vincent Foundation, Little Rock ($125,051) - Patient Care Simulation Laboratory will establish a simulation lab with video recording technology.  Training focuses on individual skills plus teamwork in routine, complex medical situations and low-incidence, high-crisis situations.

United Way of Garland County, Hot Springs ($12,716) - Baby Safety Showers will reach 160 maternity patients who are in their last trimester to educate them and their family members on infant and child safety. Funding will furnish these maternity patients with safety items for their infants and other children in the home, to create a safer environment.

University of Arkansas Community College at Hope Foundation, Hope ($33,000) - Project New Life Education will purchase a Noelle S575 with birthing suite to be used by 300 Health Professions students representing Hempstead, Columbia, Clark, Union, Little River, Miller, Lafayette, Nevada, Pike, Sevier and Howard Counties.

University of Arkansas Foundation, Inc. (UAMS), Little Rock ($117,000) - Education and Promotion of Physician Assistants in Arkansas will serve the entire state of Arkansas by increasing the number of PAs, particularly in medically underserved areas. Funding will create awareness among physicians and communities about the benefits of PAs and assist in recruiting clinical preceptors and applicants for the UAMS PA Program.

University of Arkansas Foundation, Inc. (UAMS Northwest), Fayetteville ($98,000) - The Northwest Arkansas Graduate Medical Education Consortium will expand medical residency training in Internal Medicine with a total of 24 residents every three years (eight per year). Training will take place in Washington, Benton and Sebastian Counties.

Waldron School District, Waldron ($58,000) - The Waldron School District will provide a Licensed Mental Health Therapist for students ages 5-18 in Scott County.

Wynne Public Schools, Wynne ($42,900) - The Exercise Station Project will construct a series of exercise stations along walking/fitness trails to promote healthy lifestyles and decrease obesity among students.

Youth Bridge, Inc., Fayetteville ($150,000) - The Electronic Medical Record System allows Youth Bridge to continue providing mental health, medical-related, and substance abuse services to 250 low-income youth on Medicaid from eight counties.

The Blue & You Foundation received 124 grant applications requesting $8 million in support. The 2013 grant selections were made by Blue & You Foundation board members:

  • Carolyn Blakely, Ph.D., Pine Bluff; Robert D. Cabe, chairman of the board, Little Rock;
  • Sybil J. Hampton, Ed.D., Little Rock; Mahlon Maris, M.D., Harrison; George K. Mitchell, M.D., Little Rock; Marla Johnson Norris, CEO, Aristotle Inc., Little Rock; and Mark White, president and CEO, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Little Rock.

The application deadline for the foundation’s next funding cycle is Jul. 15, 2013. For more information about the grant application process, visit the foundation Web site at www.BlueAndYouFoundationArkansas.org or write to Blue & You Foundation, 320 West Capitol Ave., Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201.

About Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas
The foundation is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves the state of Arkansas. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.

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 more than 103 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.