; Three Libraries Awarded Grants Through Blue Cross Foundation
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Press Release

Three Libraries Awarded Grants Through Blue Cross Foundation

“Public Libraries for Health” helps improve health of community residents

July 11, 2013

EAGAN, Minn. - The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation awarded three Minnesota libraries a total of $157,327 for projects that promote health equity in communities. The libraries will work in collaboration with other area nonprofits. The libraries include Duluth Public Library, Hennepin County Central Library in Minneapolis and Rochester Public Library.

“We recognize that libraries are key gathering places in communities and are a logical location to base programs that can help people be their healthiest,” said Stacey Millett, senior program officer for the Foundation. “We applaud the efforts of libraries to collaborate with other community nonprofits and are pleased to be able to support these projects.”

The library-based projects engage low-income communities to improve health and build employment skills, educational opportunities, social connections and family support. Specific projects include:
· Duluth: The grant will offer health insurance coverage enrollment and literacy programs at two branch libraries serving predominately low-income families, working with Generations Health Care Initiatives
· Hennepin County: The grant will be used to enhance services to homeless patrons and attract more low-income patrons, including teens, by expanding resources, programs and partnerships
· Rochester: The library will enhance services to low-income, transitional housing and homeless patrons by creating and sustaining a Wellness Corner with local partners

The program is part of a larger health equity initiative launched in 2011 that seeks to ensure that all Minnesotans have an equal opportunity to live a healthy life regardless of income, education, race and other socioeconomic factors that affect health.

For more information on Blue Cross’ grant-making programs, visit bcbsmnfoundation.org or call (651) 662-3950 or toll free at 1-866-812-1593.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation  exclusively dedicates its assets to improving health in Minnesota, awarding more than $32 million since it was established in 1986. The Foundation’s purpose is to make a healthy difference in people’s lives by improving the community conditions that affect the health of children and families.

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.