Oct 30, 2019

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island announces 2020 BlueAngel Community Health Grant program to focus on places where health and housing intersect

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI)  announces that for the first time, its 2020 BlueAngel Community Health Grant program will address the findings of the RI Life Index, a new data resource focused on the life factors, or social determinants of health, that influence health and well-being. Specifically, the RI Life Index found availability of, and access to, safe and affordable housing is a significant concern and challenge for many Rhode Islanders.

“Housing is one of the best-researched social determinants of health, and selected housing interventions, particularly for low-income people, have been found to improve health outcomes,” said Carolyn Belisle, BCBSRI managing director of community relations. “It makes sense that in 2020 we shift the focus of our BlueAngel Community Health Grant program to invest in programs and initiatives where health and housing intersect. Housing stability, quality, safety and affordability all affect health outcomes, as do physical and social characteristics of neighborhoods.”

The BlueAngel Community Health Grant program is an annual competitive grant program that allows BCBSRI to address critical health issues in the state through its partnerships with community-based agencies. The 17-year-old program is the cornerstone of BCBSRI’s community-investment activities, having contributed more than $4 million in funding to Rhode Island-based non-profits since the program’s inception.

In light of the growing body of evidence about housing’s effect on health, BCBSRI is interested in the innovative ways that health and human service providers, and other community-based organizations, are responding to these needs. The expectation is that by investing in access to safe and affordable housing, health outcomes for all Rhode Islanders will improve over time.

The 2020 BlueAngel Community Health Grant program, BCBSRI aims to:

  • Fund organizations and programs that will result in more Rhode Islanders being able to afford safe, healthy and stable housing
  • Increase awareness about safe, affordable housing as a shared public concern, underscoring why housing matters and its connection to overall health
  • Highlight solutions and amplify effective models to support access to safe and affordable housing by funding proven and replicable local– and state–level initiatives, with an emphasis on collaborations across different sectors

To apply for a BlueAngel Community Health Grant, Rhode Island non-profit agencies are invited to submit a letter of intent before November 14, 2019. Letters will be reviewed by a committee to determine which programs best fit the criteria for the program and selected agencies will be notified to submit a full proposal for funding. Grantees will be notified and announced in early February 2020. For more information on the application process and for FAQs, visit: www.bcbsri.com/about/blueangel.

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