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Blue Ribbon Foundation Announces Grants for Access to Care, Healthy Families

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By: Anthony Matrisciano
November 18, 2013

Funding Will Help Seven Nonprofits Serve More than 1,550 Individuals

Wilkes-Barre, PA – Dental services for un/underinsured children, coordination of medical care for individuals with disabilities, and colorectal cancer screenings for at-risk individuals 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 November 12 meeting of The Foundation’s Board of Directors, providing $61,654 in funding to regional nonprofit programs that will serve more than 1,550 individuals.

The Foundation awarded the grants to health education and prevention programs in thirteen counties across 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.

“We’re pleased to be in a position to support such an array of critical health and wellness programs,” said Cynthia A. Yevich, executive director of The Blue Ribbon Foundation. “Without these grants, it’s likely that at-risk individuals may not otherwise have access to the types of services they need.”

Care for the un/underinsured

Foundation grant of $8,601 will enable the American Lung Association in Pennsylvania to distribute 235 Asthma Care Packages to un/underinsured children and adults across five counties (Lackawanna, Luzerne, Tioga, Wayne and Wyoming) who have been newly diagnosed with the disease. The packages contain educational materials and supplies to help patients effectively manage their asthma and reduce the need for unplanned emergency room or doctor visits.

In Carbon County, Blue Mountain Health System, Inc. received a $10,000 grant for its Healthy Smiles, Happy Kids Mobile Dental Van. With this grant, the program will be able to purchase the supplies necessary to provide free dental services and oral hygiene education to 225 un/underinsured children through onsite visits to Carbon County schools.

In Lackawanna County, the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute (NRCI) received a Foundation grant of $5,000 to identify and screen un/underinsured, at-risk individuals for colorectal cancer. Working with community-based clinics, NRCI will help 80 participants complete the screening process and be connected to a medical home for continued preventive care.

Healthy children and families

Pennsylvania Elks Major Projects, Inc. received Foundation funding of $9,996 to support its Home Service and Medical Care Coordination Program across 13 counties. Through this grant, nurses will visit the homes of 200 children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities to provide health education and medical care coordination services.

In Monroe County, the East Stroudsburg University Center for Research and Economic Development received a Foundation grant of $6,731. The funding will enable the

University’s Speech and Hearing Center to conduct speech, language and hearing screenings for 276 preschool children and their siblings at six Head Start Centers and the Annual Head Start Health Fair across the county.

Also in Monroe County, the Pocono Family YMCA will use a Foundation grant of $10,300 to expand its C.A.T.C.H. (Coordinated Approach To Child Health) program to include 240 additional physically and/or financially at-risk children. The children, ranging in age from preschool to eighth grade, will engage in structured physical activity and nutrition education classes weekly.

In Luzerne County, Misericordia University received Foundation funding of $11,026 to enable its Speech-Language and Hearing Center to conduct hearing screenings for 300 preschool children at ten Head Start Centers across the county. 

Find out more

or 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

eadquartered 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.  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.