Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Accepting Applications for 2012 Community Health Grant Program

(Providence, RI, 7.11.2011)
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Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) announced today that it is accepting applications for its 2012 BlueAngel Community Health Grant program. This annual program grants funds to nonprofit organizations for initiatives that provide access to high-quality and affordable healthcare, primarily to the uninsured and/or under-insured in Rhode Island.

"Our BlueAngel Community Health Grants give us the opportunity to partner with community-based agencies who work to provide healthcare programs that improve the health of those who most need it in our state," said Michele Lederberg, executive vice president for BCBSRI. "We believe all Rhode Islanders deserve access to high quality and affordable healthcare and this program allows us to extend our reach beyond our members to care for the uninsured and other vulnerable populations."

BCBSRI's BlueAngel Community Health Grants will allocate $200,000 to a variety of organizations, including several from the 2011 class that will receive funding for a second year, to provide new or existing health-focused programs across Rhode Island. To qualify, organizations must be tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status. Examples of programs that should consider applying include those that serve groups with inadequate health outcomes or the needs of vulnerable populations, those that provide direct access to or assist in seeking low-cost coverage programs and providers for the uninsured, or organizations focused on healthcare education programs.

Applicants can find a comprehensive list of eligibility requirements, grant program information, frequently asked questions, and the online letter of intent (LOI) form by visiting www.bcbsri.com. LOIs will only be accepted online, and the submission deadline is 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 11, 2011.

BCBSRI accepts and reviews proposals for the BlueAngel Community Health Grant Program once a year. Each LOI received is reviewed to determine compliance with eligibility and funding priorities. BCBSRI will notify the selected applicants and invite submission of a full proposal approximately 30 days before the deadline. Grant award winners are notified in December with funding to begin in January 2012.

In 2011, six organizations received BlueAngel Community Health Grants, including Chad Brown Health Center (CBHC), Dorcas Place's Rhode Island Welcome Back Center (RIWBC), Providence Community Health Center, Inc. (PCHC), Taming Asthma (TA), Thundermist Community Health Center, and Youth in Action (YIA). Three organizations also were selected to receive transitional funding including Clinica Esperanza, Lucy's Hearth, and WellOne. An example of how one organization is utilizing the grant funding is PCHC, which is expanding the hours of PCHC EXPRESS, a look-alike urgent care center that provides an emergency room alternative. Their expansion of operating hours will accommodate 1,250 additional visits a year and reduce the use of more costly hospital emergency departments for non-emergency medical needs.

The BlueAngel Community Health Grants program was launched in 2002 and has touched the lives of more than 184,000 people in the state. The program is a key component in BCBSRI's vision of enhancing the quality of life of Rhode Islanders by improving their health. The BlueAngel Community Health Grants are made possible by the BCBSRI Community Health Fund, a corporate donor-advised fund of The Rhode Island Foundation.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Islandis the state's leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit www.bcbsri.com and follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI.

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