BlueAngel Community Health Grants

We believe all Rhode Islanders deserve access to high-quality, affordable healthcare. The BlueAngel Community Health Grant program—an annual, competitive grant program—allows us to extend our reach beyond our membership to address critical health issues in Rhode Island. We achieve this by partnering with community-based agencies that are trying to improve the health of Rhode Islanders.

This funding program is the cornerstone of our community investment activities at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI), and we are proud of the organizations we have worked with and the results that have been achieved since we began offering grants more than 12 years ago. Together, we are making a difference.

2015 Funding Focus

We have served as a trusted health partner in the Rhode Island community for more than 75 years, and we are committed to continuing that work. Beginning in 2014, as part of our 75th Anniversary year, Blue Cross modified its primary focus for community funding to concentrate on addressing childhood obesity. In 2015, we will continue our focus on Rhode Island’s children and funding for initiatives that contribute to a healthy lifestyle for all of Rhode Island’s children. Preventing obesity during childhood is critical as health habits formed at a young age often last into adulthood. Though the rise in childhood obesity rates has recently moderated for some age groups and in some areas of the country, childhood obesity is still an epidemic.  Funding , in this area is vitally important for the development of healthy children and later in life, healthy adults, especially in poor communities and those of color.

We believe childhood obesity is one of the most critical issues facing our children and our state: 

  1. Today, childhood obesity is projected to cost children five years of their lives. If youth health continues on its current path, this generation will be the first to not live longer than their parents.
  2. Children and adolescents who are overweight or obese are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, sleep apnea, joint pain, and a host of other chronic health problems. Aside from obesity’s physical consequences, obese children and youth have lower self-esteem and lower self-confidence than their peers, are susceptible to mental health and psychological conditions such as depression, and may experience social marginalization and discrimination.
  3. Childhood obesity costs up to $14 billion per year in direct healthcare costs.

By collaborating with organizations that are working to reverse or prevent the epidemic of childhood obesity, we hope to play a role in making our state healthier and stronger while saving lives and easing the financial strain on our already overburdened healthcare system.

Funding is available to Rhode Island-based, non-profit organizations employing projects that aim to:

  • Improve the nutritional quality of snack foods and beverages in schools
  • Reduce consumption of sugary beverages
  • Protect children from unhealthy food and beverage marketing
  • Increase access to affordable healthy foods
  • Increase access to safe places to be active: parks, playgrounds, walking paths, bike lanes, and other opportunities to be physically active
  • Help schools and youth-serving programs increase children’s physical activity levels
  • Support local community based organizations that provide community education and outreach on the importance of good nutrition, physical activity, and healthy weight for children and their families

Blue Cross will favor applicants that offer:

  • Innovative programs that expand and enhance services, increase capacity, and/or incorporate new strategies to support healthy body weights among young children, or
  • Evidenced-based interventions or prevention initiatives
  • Collaborations with one or more agencies working together
  • Initiatives to capture statewide data regarding the state of children’s weight in Rhode Island

If your organization shares our goal to improve the health and wellness of children through nutrition education, physical activity, disease prevention and management, or supporting safe play environments, we invite you to apply.

The BlueAngel Community Health Grants are made possible by the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Community Health Fund, a donor-advised fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.

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