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Blue Ribbon Foundation Announces Grants

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By: Anthony Matrisciano
September 20, 2011

Funding will help seven nonprofits serve more than 2,100 individuals

September 20, 2011, Wilkes-Barre, PA – Cancer screenings, diagnostic testing and pediatric dental services for the uninsured; safety programs for at-risk youth; and trauma services are among the areas of need being addressed by grants just awarded by The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Seven grants were approved at the September meeting of The Foundation’s board, providing $53,600 in funding to regional nonprofit programs that will serve more than 2,100 individuals.

The Foundation awarded the grants to health education and 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 help our nonprofit partners make a 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 be in a position to support much-needed services for these individuals.”  

Supporting access to care for the un/underinsured

A Foundation grant of $8,372 to the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute (NRCI) Cancer Patient Navigation Program will help increase colon, breast and cervical cancer screenings and offer support from screening through diagnosis, treatment and after-care for 500 un/underinsured individuals.  NRCI will partner with six free and federally qualified health clinics in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wayne Counties to identify program participants and help them overcome health care barriers such as financial status, communication, transportation and fear of the health care system.

Also in Luzerne County, the Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Clinic received a $10,000 Foundation grant to provide medically-necessary diagnostic testing and lab services, such as X-rays, mammograms, ultrasounds, lipid panels, urinalysis and MRIs, to 475 employed but uninsured patients in the coming year.

In the northern tier, Tioga Dental Services (TDS) was established in 2009 to serve low-income un/underinsured families, and is the only facility that accepts patients of all ages on Medical Assistance.  TDS will use a $9,990 Foundation grant to expand its pediatric preventive dental program to serve an additional 370 children under the age of 6 from Bradford, Lycoming and Tioga Counties with high risk of dental caries. 

Supporting safe and healthy children and families

Ruth’s Place House of Hope in Wilkes-Barre will use $9,750 in Foundation funding to provide on-site trauma services for 110 shelter residents.  Individual and group services will be provided by a certified trauma specialist, and shelter staff will become trained to continue to manage an on-going trauma support program for residents.

In Monroe County, a $6,488 Foundation grant will allow the American Red Cross of the Poconos to deliver school-based safety workshops to 500 4th and 5th graders in the East Stroudsburg Area School District during the 2011/12 school year.  The program will provide age-appropriate information and hands-on training on topics such as being home alone, first aid/pet first aid, home fires, lightning and thunderstorms, flooding, and how and when to contact the County’s 9-1-1 Center.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeastern Pennsylvania will use a $5,000 Foundation grant to partner with medical, legal and emergency management professionals to offer the “Kids in Control” Personal Safety Program to 100 youngsters, ages 6 to 11. The program will reach children at the main Club in Scranton, and at three of the Club's Luzerne County centers affiliated with low-income housing developments.

Supporting better breathing

Early detection, lifestyle changes and proper chronic care management can help minimize the effects of COPD and limit hospitalizations.  Through the “Better Breathers Club,” the American Lung Association (ALA) will use a $4,000 Foundation grant to educate more than 120 hospital staff, lung disease patients and caregivers in Lackawanna, Tioga and Wayne Counties on topics such as the basics of COPD, treatment, lifestyle change and disease management. 

Find out More

For more information on The Blue Ribbon Foundation’s upcoming funding cycles, application deadlines and eligibility criteria, please visit, click on Community Initiatives then select 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 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.

Media Contact:
Anthony Matrisciano