More than 2,100 at-risk families will benefit
July 6, Wilkes-Barre, PA- Wellness education for children with behavioral health issues and dental services for un/underinsured adults were among the projects recently funded by The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The grant awards, approved at The Foundation’s June board meeting, will provide six area agencies with $52,450 in funding and help more than 2,100 at-risk families.
The Foundation awarded the grants to health education, prevention and direct service programs across Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania. Each project met criteria under one of three grant categories: Health and Wellness Impact Grants, Health and Wellness Mini-Grants and Access to Health Care Grants for the Un/Underinsured.
“These grants will address key areas of need in our community, such as preventive services for the un/underinsured and programs for special needs children and adults,” said Cynthia A. Yevich, executive director of The Blue Ribbon Foundation. “We are pleased to be able to support local nonprofits that are providing health and wellness services for those individuals that need help the most.”
Dental care for the uninsured
Clinton County Healthy Communities received a $9,950 Mini-Grant for the Clinton County Community Dental Clinic, which opened in 2009 to provide dental exams, cleanings, X-rays, fluoride treatments and sealants to low-income, un/underinsured families. The Foundation’s grant will allow the Clinic to expand the availability of a dental hygienist and serve an additional 450 new patients in the coming year.
The Foundation also awarded a $15,000 Access to Care Grant to Scranton Primary Health Care Center for its Ed Dulworth Dental Center. The Dental Center served nearly 2,500 patients in 2009, 96 percent of whom were un/underinsured. Foundation funding with help the Dental Center expand services to 120 new adult patients from Lackawanna, Lycoming, Monroe, Pike, Wayne and Sullivan Counties. The Dental Center also will use The Foundation’s funds to screen new patients for oral cancer and provide tobacco prevention/cessation education to 500 new and current patients.
Helping children stay safe and healthy
The Scranton Counseling Center will use a $10,000 Impact Grant to add a nutrition and physical education component to its Summer Wellness Education, Activities and Therapeutic (S.W.E.A.T.) Program. The program serves economically disadvantaged Lackawanna County children who have emotional, behavioral and/or social problems. The S.W.E.A.T. program will now provide at least 120 minutes of daily physical activity and weekly nutrition education sessions to 100 youngsters this summer.
Sullivan County Victim Services (SCVS) will use a $5,000 Mini-Grant to add Cyber-Bullying Safety and Internet Harassment Avoidance education to its existing school-based prevention programming. In cooperation with the Sullivan County School District, SCVS will offer age-appropriate presentations during school hours to 400 students, pre-school through 12th grade, and after-school sessions for 100 parents and caregivers as well.
The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties received a $5,500 Mini-Grant to add a nutrition education component to “Success By 6”, reaching nearly 250 at-risk children and 100 parents and caregivers in Lackawanna County. The program will be offered at 12 state-funded Pre-K Counts classrooms across the county, and will include age-appropriate information for the children as well as parent education on topics such as preparing healthy and affordable meals, identifying healthy snacks, portion control and reading nutrition labels.
Keeping adults with disabilities active
The Deutsch Institute will use a $7,000 Mini-Grant to expand its exercise curriculum for physically and developmentally challenged individuals to four other community-based adult day programs serving 160 clients from Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wayne Counties. Sessions will help these special needs individuals increase their cardio and respiratory endurance, muscle strength, balance and flexibility.
Find out More
The Blue Ribbon Foundation’s funding cycles run quarterly. For more information on funding priorities, application deadlines and eligibility criteria, please visit www.bcnepa.com, and click on The Blue Ribbon Foundation tab.
About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania
Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association headquartered in Wilkes-Barre. It offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to approximately 600,000 individuals in 13 counties in Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania.
The company’s mission is to provide innovative solutions that support more affordable health care, promote personal accountability for health and wellness, and offer superior service and partnership to employers, members, and providers.
Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania established its private, non-profit 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.