Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is now accepting applications for its 2015 BlueAngel Community Health Grant (BACHG) program. This annual program grants funds to community-based organizations that are working to break down barriers to good health created by cost, culture and language differences, lack of education, and other systemic hurdles.
2015 is the second year that the BACHG program will focus on the pressing issue of childhood obesity. The program will award organizations that seek to improve the health and wellness of Rhode Island children through nutrition education, physical activity, disease prevention and management, or support of safe play environments.
“The BlueAngel Community Health Grant program is the cornerstone of our community investment program, and we’re so fortunate to partner with amazing organizations in Rhode Island who accomplish incredible things towards improving the health of our state.” said Michele Lederberg, chief administrative officer and general counsel for BCBSRI. “It is critical that we do everything in our ability to combat the childhood obesity epidemic, which is why we are continuing to seek out organizations that address the issue. Together, we can improve the lives of Rhode Islanders now and for generations to come.”
Prevention of obesity is key and cementing healthy habits early is a way to ensure our children start off on the right foot toward a healthy life. Today, childhood obesity is projected to cost children five years of their lives, making this generation the first that might not live longer than their parents. Childhood obesity burdens the healthcare industry and taxpayers up to $14 billion per year in direct healthcare costs nationwide. Collaboration between healthcare stakeholders and non-profits working to reverse the obesity trend will create a healthier Rhode Island, and help to lower healthcare costs.
BCBSRI will consider community-based organizations that aim to improve the nutritional quality of food and snacks in schools, reduce consumption of sugary beverages, protect children from unhealthy food and beverage marketing, and increase access to affordable healthy foods. BCBSRI will also consider Rhode Island organizations that work to increase access to safe places to be active, help schools and youth-serving programs increase children’s physical activity levels, and support local community-based organizations that provide education and outreach on the importance of good nutrition, physical activity, and healthy weight for children and their families.
Favored applicants will be those that provide innovative programs, prevention initiatives, collaborations with one or more agencies working together, and initiatives to capture statewide data regarding the state of children’s weight in Rhode Island.
To qualify for a grant, an organization must have tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status. Applicants can access eligibility requirements, grant program information, frequently asked questions, and the online letter of intent (LOI) form by visiting BCBSRI.com/about-us/community. Organizations must submit their LOI online submission by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 18.
BCBSRI accepts and reviews proposals for the BACHG 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 2015.
About the BACHG Program
The BACHG program was launched in 2002 and has touched the lives of more than 235,000 people in the state. The program is a key component in BCBSRI’s vision of enhancing the quality of life for Rhode Islanders by increasing the quality of and access to healthcare services. The BACHGs 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 Island (BCBSRI) is the state’s leading health insurer and covers more than 550,000 members. Our mission is to improve our members’ health and peace of mind by facilitating their access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. BCBSRI is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit www.bcbsri.com, follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI, and like us on Facebook at fb.com/bcbsrhodeisland.