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Blue Cross Foundation Grants Focus on Improving Immigrant Health

EAGAN, Minn., July 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation recently awarded $290,000 in grants under its Healthy Together: Creating Community with New Americans initiative. The Healthy Together initiative promotes the mental health and social adjustment of new Americans, helps develop immigrant-led organizations, and fosters civic engagement involving immigrants and the broader community.

"These grants demonstrate a variety of innovative approaches to improve immigrant health including the use of community health workers (CHWs), who help people dealing with language and cultural barriers connect with the health care system," said Joan Cleary, Foundation vice president.

Recent grants include:

  • African Assistance Program, Brooklyn Center, $40,000 for the Building Community for All project to improve relationships between law enforcement and new immigrants in the Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center area of the Twin Cities.
  • Advocates for Human Rights, Minneapolis, $10,000 for the One Voice Minnesota Community Planning project, to create opportunities for cultural exchange among immigrants and the broader community in Austin, Minn., in partnership with the Austin Human Rights Commission.
  • CAPI, Minneapolis, $10,000 to strengthen programs that provide basic needs services and build health equity for the refugee and immigrant community.
  • Center for Victims of Torture, Minneapolis, $10,000 for the Refugee Mental Health Assessment project to develop and pilot a culturally appropriate way for mental health screening for newly arrived refugees who have been victims of persecution or war torture.
  • Deaf Community Health Worker Project, St. Paul, $40,000 for expansion of the Deaf Community Health Worker project to provide community health worker services to deaf immigrants and their families to help them navigate the health care system.
  • Faribault Diversity Coalition, Faribault, $40,000 to continue events and projects in Faribault that engage immigrants and long-time residents in creating inclusive, welcoming communities in Faribault, Northfield and surrounding areas.
  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, $50,000 to document how community health workers in primary care medical practices improve patient health outcomes.
  • Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota, St. Paul, $40,000 for a mental health and social adjustment program for newly arrived KaRen refugees from Burma through the use of a community health worker.
  • Welcome Center, Austin, $10,000 to help fund its work in serving immigrants in Austin, Minn.
  • Western Mental Health Center, Marshall, $40,000 for a community health worker serving Hmong refugees in Marshall and the surrounding areas.

The Blue Cross Foundation is the state's largest grantmaking foundation to exclusively dedicate its assets to improving health in Minnesota, awarding more than $25 million since it was established in 1986. The Foundation's purpose is to look beyond health care today for ideas that create healthier communities tomorrow, through a focus on key social, economic and environmental factors that determine health, to improve community health long-term and close the health gap that affects many Minnesotans.

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation
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