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Blue Ribbon Foundation Announces April Grant Awards

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April 13, 2011

Nearly 1,000 local residents will benefit

April 13, 2011, Wilkes-Barre, PA – Health and developmental screenings for at-risk youth, home-based parenting education, and safety planning for abused women are among the areas of need being addressed by grants just awarded by The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Five grants were approved at the April meeting of The Foundation’s board, providing more than $26,000 in funding to local nonprofits that will serve nearly 1,000 individuals.

The Foundation awarded the grants to health care education and illness prevention programs in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. Each project met criteria under one of three grant categories: Health and Wellness Mini-Grants, Health and Wellness Impact Grants and Access to Care Grants for the Un/Underinsured.

"These grants will make a big difference in the lives of at-risk women, children and families who are facing health and safety issues," said Cynthia A. Yevich, executive director of The Blue Ribbon Foundation. "We are pleased to support local nonprofits whose programs provide much-needed services to these individuals."

Supporting safe and healthy families

The Burn Prevention Foundation will use a $5,500 grant to deliver "The Great Escape", a school-based education program for fifth through eighth grade students on the importance of planning and practicing a home exit in case of fire.  Though the Foundation grant will help the Burn Prevention Foundation ultimately reach 43,000 students across 13 counties, the initial phase in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties will reach 475 students through a partnership with the Scranton and Hazleton Fire Departments.

Infant Development Program's Early Intervention Parent-Child Home Program will use a $5,000 Foundation grant to address the needs of at-risk families in Clinton County through home-based instruction. Home visits will include health and developmental evaluations for all children, and parenting education on the stages of healthy child development, nurturing skills, and coaching.  Foundation funding will help the program serve 20 new families, and no less than 40 individuals, in the coming year.

A $5,000 grant to Women’s Resources of Monroe County, Inc. will help the agency provide more than 300 hours of shelter advocate services to 54 women in the coming year.  Thanks to Foundation funding, each woman will be able to prepare a safety plan for themselves and any children in their care, and will also be matched with other agencies as needed for ongoing health and support services.

Supporting health and developmental screenings for at-risk youth

In Scranton, the Employment Opportunity and Training Center (EOTC) of NEPA’s Parents as Teachers (PAT) Program addresses the needs of at-risk Lackawanna County families by delivering a home-based curriculum focused on improving parenting skills and early intervention. Sessions include health and developmental screenings for all children, and coaching for parents on topics such as guided parent-child interaction, hygiene, appropriate parenting behavior, and home management skills. A $5,595 Foundation grant will help EOTC serve 75 additional families in the coming year.

In Luzerne County, a $5,000 Foundation grant to the United Way of Wyoming Valley’s Success By 6 team will help early childhood educators meet the needs of the growing number of children with behavioral issues and mental health challenges in Head Start programs.  Behavioral education will be provided to no less than 24 Head Start childcare providers at 12 sites across the county, all of which serve children identified as at-risk. In addition, an estimated 240 children enrolled at the sites will be evaluated for social and behavioral issues and intervention will be provided if needed.

Find out More

For more information on The Blue Ribbon Foundation’s 2011 funding cycles, application deadlines and eligibility criteria, please visit, and click on The Blue Ribbon Foundation tab.

About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania 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 555,000 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 we serve.

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.

Media Contact:
Anthony Matrisciano