EAGAN, Minn., June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation recently awarded $528,000 in grants under two initiatives designed to improve the health of communities throughout the state -- $115,000 under Growing Up Healthy: Kids and Communities, $373,000 for Healthy Together: Creating Community with New Americans, and $40,000 in related grants.
Growing Up Healthy, a 10-year funding effort, nurtures the healthy growth and development of children under age five by supporting partnerships in communities across the state that connect children's health with early childhood development opportunities, safe and affordable housing and the environment. Healthy Together is a statewide grants program that addresses the mental health, social adjustment and integration of immigrants and refugees.
"We know that to grow up healthy, kids not only need health care, they also need stable and affordable housing, a clean environment and to be prepared when they start school -- the goals of Growing Up Healthy," said Joan Cleary, foundation vice president. "And we know that healthy communities have strong social support systems and civic engagement opportunities that bond people together -- goals of Healthy Together."
Recent grants include:
Growing Up Healthy: Kids and Communities
Minnesota Environmental Initiative, Minneapolis, $40,000 for Project Green Fleet, to reduce diesel emissions and rider pollutant exposure (known lung irritants and asthma triggers) by installing pollution control equipment on buses used to transport Head Start pre-schoolers in Stearns, Scott, Carver and Dakota counties.
Ready4K, Minneapolis, $75,000 for the Parent Empowerment Project to increase early childhood education knowledge of parents and care providers, and promote health awareness by training parent leaders from the Somali, American Indian, Latino, African American, and South East Asian communities in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Healthy Together: Creating Community with New Americans
African Assistance Program, Brooklyn Center, $10,000 for Building a Community for All, a partnership with the police departments of Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center, to increase two-way communication and information sharing with African immigrants and refugees regarding role of police, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, and specific laws that apply to all in the community.
City of Bloomington, $10,000 for Bloomington Public Health and diverse partner organizations to identify the needs and barriers faced by new immigrants, assets and opportunities, and recommendations for improving community integration.
Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health, Minneapolis, $10,000 to connect organizations, institutions and individuals in a community-led planning process to identify sustainable strategies to reduce health inequities and improve the health and quality of life in Northwest Hennepin County.
Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis, $50,000 to promote cross-cultural understanding through the Digital Community Working Group project, which uses web technology and face-to-face dialogue to bring together immigrants and established community members.
United Cambodian Association of Minnesota, St. Paul, $10,000 for a collaborative project of five Southeast Asian organizations working together to address common issues and improve the overall health of the Twin Cities immigrant and refugee community.
Mental Health Grants
Coalition of African Community Services, Willmar, $10,000 for planning an integration and outreach program to assist East African immigrants in the region with healthy social adjustment.
Deaf Community Health Worker Project, St. Paul, $8,000 to assess the health education, outreach and social integration needs of deaf immigrants in the Twin Cities area and those who work with them through the use of a community health worker.
Jewish Family & Children's Services, Minnetonka, $75,000 for the Coordinated Health Service program, which provides social adjustment and mental health outreach through the collaboration of three agencies that serve the Twin Cities Russian-speaking immigrant population.
La Familia Guidance Center, St. Paul, $50,000 for training Community Mental Health Worker interns to connect new Latino immigrants in Ramsey County with health and social service resources.
Madelia Community Hospital, Madelia, $10,000 to foster social adjustment and English language skill development for Latino families in the area and promote cross-cultural appreciation with the broader community.
Open Door Health Center, Mankato, $10,000 to build the organization's capacity to address mental health issues among Latino and African immigrants.
Project FINE, Winona, $70,000 for Diversity Youth Quest to promote youth development among immigrant and refugee families in Winona County.
Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota, St. Paul, $10,000 to plan a comprehensive social adjustment program for Twin Cities Karen refugees newly arrived from Burma.
Organizational Development Grants
African Aid, Minneapolis, $10,000 to increase the organization's capacity to address the mental health needs of East African immigrants in the Greater Twin Cities area through school-based partnerships.
Anywaa Community Association of North America, Minneapolis, $10,000 to increase the organization's capacity to promote social, cultural and educational development of refugees from Sudan and Ethiopia statewide.
Hmong American Family, St. Paul, $10,000 to strengthen governance and program development of this mutual assistance association that serves new Hmong refugees in St. Paul.
Hope International Health and Social Services, St. Paul, $10,000 to develop its board, improve business systems and build key alliances to extend its social adjustment services to Pan-African families on St. Paul's East Side.
Minnesota International Health Volunteers, Minneapolis, $20,000 to further develop the Community Health Worker (CHW) Peer Network statewide and to support training and certification of two CHWs.
West Side Community Health Services, St. Paul, $10,000 in planning support to create an Institute for Immigrant and Refugee Health and Wellness that addresses health disparities.
Minnesota State University, Mankato (HEIP), Mankato, $10,000 to plan a Community Health Worker Institute to house the CHW Project, a statewide initiative to reduce cultural and linguistic barriers to health care, improve quality and cost effectiveness of care, and increase the number of health care workers who come from diverse backgrounds.
The Blue Cross Foundation's purpose is to look beyond health care today for ideas that create healthier communities tomorrow. By addressing key social, economic and environmental factors that determine health -- beyond genes, lifestyle and access to health care -- the foundation's work extends beyond the traditional reach of the health care system to improve community health long-term and close the health gap that affects many Minnesotans. The foundation has become the state's largest grantmaking foundation to exclusively dedicate its assets to improving health in Minnesota, awarding more than $22 million since it was established in 1986.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. A nonprofit, taxable organization, Blue Cross is the largest health plan based in Minnesota, covering 2.9 million members in Minnesota and nationally through its health plans or plans administered by its affiliated companies. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago. Go to http://www.bluecrossmn.com to learn more about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
|SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota|
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved