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Blue Ribbon Foundation Supports Program that Helps At-Risk Children Have Safe Home Environments

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By: Christine Zavaskas
May 27, 2014
Pictured at the check presentation standing (left to right) are: Kathy Kutsop, EOTC specialist; Carlene Gula, manager of Early Head Start and PAT programs, EOTC; Jan Hess, family center director, EOTC; Roy Green, PAT program participant; Cynthia A. Yevich, executive director, The Blue Ribbon Foundation of BCNEPA. Seated in front is Gabriella Green, PAT program participant.

June is National Safety Month

June is designated by the National Safety Council as National Safety Month and The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA) is funding a program that helps at-risk children in Lackawanna County have safe, healthy environments in which to grow.

The recent $5,111 Blue Ribbon Foundation grant was awarded to Employment Opportunity & Training Center (EOTC) of Northeastern Pennsylvania to support the Parents as Teachers (PAT) Program.  This program delivers a home-based curriculum to at-risk families focused on improving parenting skills and early intervention.

In the coming year, Foundation funding will provide 75 Lackawanna County families with two home visits per month from a PAT-certified educator. During these visits, important health and developmental screenings will be administered to children up to the age of five and coaching will be provided for parents on topics such as guided parent-child interaction, hygiene, appropriate parenting behavior, and home management skills.

“According to Pennsylvania's Office of Child Development & Early Learning, young children in Lackawanna County are at above-average risk for health and social-emotional deficits,” said Jan Hess, family center director at EOTC. “We are grateful to The Blue Ribbon Foundation for supporting our outreach to families in need of help.”

About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA) is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  BCNEPA offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to more than 540,000 individuals in 13 counties in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania.  The company’s mission is to provide integrated health care services and products to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care in the populations it serves.

BCNEPA established its private, nonprofit Blue Ribbon Foundation in 2002 to invest in health education and prevention initiatives that produce measurable health improvements and help manage long-term health costs for the residents of northeastern and north central Pennsylvania.  In more than a decade of service, The Foundation has awarded more than $10 million in grant funding to 195 nonprofits to help meet the health and wellness needs of more than 193,000 at-risk individuals.