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Blue Ribbon Foundation Grant Supports Immunizations for the Uninsured

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By: Anthony Matrisciano
January 7, 2013
Pictured, L to R, at the grant presentation are: Elaine Richards-Hercher, MSN, nurse midwife, Scranton Primary Health Care Center; Cynthia A. Yevich, executive director, The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania; and Scranton Primary Health Care Center representatives Mary Lou Czyzyk, RN, executive director, and Luiz Galvao, MD, internist.

Wilkes-Barre, PA – The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania recently approved a $10,000 grant for the Scranton Primary Health Care Center.

The Center annually serves about 9,000 patients from Lackawanna, Monroe, Pike and Wyoming counties. Sixty-four percent of these patients are uninsured or underinsured and cannot afford basic immunizations, leaving them vulnerable to preventable diseases.

To help address this need, The Blue Ribbon Foundation’s grant is funding the purchase of nearly 500 doses of vaccine to immunize 190 un/underinsured prenatal patients against influenza.  The grant will also fund influenza, pneumonia, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough vaccinations to an additional 210 un/underinsured adults in the coming year.

"We are so grateful for support from The Blue Ribbon Foundation," said Mary Lou Czyzyk, RN, executive director of the Scranton Primary Health Care Center. "Being able to provide free vaccinations to our most at-risk patients not only reduces the incidence of disease, but also helps us avoid the long-term costs associated with treating otherwise preventable conditions."

About the Blue Ribbon Foundation of BCNEPA

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. During its first decade of service, The Foundation has awarded nearly $10 million in grant funding to 170 nonprofits to help meet the health and wellness needs of more than 186,000 at-risk individuals.