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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Awards $1.4 Million to 14 Community Initiatives in Chicago and Downstate

CHICAGO, July 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) announced today it awarded $1.4 million to 14 Chicago- and Springfield-based initiatives designed to teach children how to live healthy lifestyles and help reduce obesity among them. Rather than funding individual organizations, the BCBSIL Health and Wellness Grants support initiatives in underserved neighborhoods that foster collaboration among multiple organizations that traditionally have addressed only individual aspects of childhood health and wellness.

"Many schools no longer offer physical activity programs, and many children in the target neighborhoods do not have access to safe places to play or to sources of healthy food. Through these grants, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is encouraging recipient organizations to combine their resources to address these issues and help children in these neighborhoods live healthier lives," said Clarita Santos, director of Community Health Initiatives at BCBSIL.

Primary organizations leading these neighborhood initiatives include:

  1. Casa Central, Humboldt Park
  2. Parkways Foundation, Chicago
  3. Healthy Schools Campaign, Englewood/Humboldt Park
  4. The Howard Area Community Center, Rogers Park
  5. Centro Romero, Rogers Park
  6. Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Illinois Capital Region, Springfield
  7. KaBOOM!, Rogers Park
  8. Christian Community Health Center, Roseland
  9. Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield
  10. Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago, Humboldt Park
  11. Illinois Health Education Consortium, Pilsen
  12. Active Transportation Alliance, Englewood
  13. Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, Humboldt Park
  14. Community Outreach Volunteers, NFP, Englewood

The Health and Wellness Grants cover three phases: 1) A process that helps participating organizations plan how to work effectively together and leverage other neighborhood resources; 2) Development of the initiatives; and 3) Execution.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois

With approximately 7 million members, BCBSIL ( is the largest health insurance company in Illinois. Started in 1936, BCBSIL is committed to promoting the health and wellness of its members and its communities through accessible, cost-effective, quality health care. BCBSIL is a division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), a Mutual Legal Reserve Company. HCSC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
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