We are focusing on our next 75 years in Rhode Island, and helping our kids combat the child obesity epidemic is a natural way for this years celebration to make a long-term impact, said Peter Andruszkiewicz, president and chief executive officer of BCBSRI. Rhode Islands future rests with the next generation, and we hope that these collaborations will create a commitment to healthy behaviors that lasts for generations.
The following three organizations and their partners will receive $75,000 in BACHG funding in 2014:
" The Learning Community, a K-8 public charter school serving Central Falls, Providence and Pawtucket, for the nutrition and physical activity program Not Just Gym. In collaboration with The Apeiron Institute for Sustainable Living and Shri Yoga Studios Shri Service Corps, Not Just Gym is aimed at engaging students and their families in a lifelong commitment to exercise and healthy living and will further develop and integrate health and fitness curriculum into The Learning Communitys ongoing program. New additions include expanded afterschool programs and school-day innovations such as activity monitors and circuit training.
" Ready to Learn Providence (R2LP), a nonprofit organization working to close the educational achievement gap, for the Lets Get Moving! initiative, which will be used to support child and family service agencies to train and support their staff in enhancing nutrition and exercise programming for children under five. One of these enhancements is the I am Moving I am Learning (IM/IL) program, a research-based initiative developed as a Head Start enhancement program to address childhood obesity. The program is a collaborative effort among local child and family service agencies, including Childrens Friend and Providence Community Library, as well as 10 center-based child care programs and three Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) organizations.
" Thundermist Health Center, a non-profit community health center that provides health care regardless of ability to pay, for the Impacting Obesity Together: Woonsocket initiative, which focuses on increasing healthy diets and physical activity among low-income Woonsocket families. Thundermist will lead the initiative in collaboration with the Greater Providence YMCA, Farm Fresh Rhode Island and Connecting for Children and Families.
In addition, BCBSRI will award $135,000 in transitional grants to the following organizations:
" Amos House will receive $26,000 to be used for its psychiatric services program.
" The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center (MLKCC) will receive $24,000 for its Nutrition Education at MLKCC program.
" Farm Fresh Rhode Island will receive $20,000 for its Healthy Foods, Healthy Families program.
" Progreso Latino will receive $24,000 for its BlueAngel Improve Your Health (Mejora tu Salud) Program.
" The Providence Center will receive $24,000 for its Health Connection Program.
" Childrens Friend will receive a $17,000 grant to support breastfeeding in low-income women.
The BACHG Program is the cornerstone of BCBSRIs charitable giving. Since the Programs inception in 2002, BCBSRI has donated over $2.3 million dollars to support Rhode Island nonprofit organizations helping un- and under-insured Rhode Islanders live healthier lives. Funded programs have touched more than 220,000 people in Rhode Island since the BACHGs launch.
The BACHG are made possible by the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Community Health Fund, a donor-advised fund at the Rhode Island Foundation. For more information about the BACHG program, please visit: https://www.bcbsri.com/about-us/community/blue-angel-community-grants.
Providence-area transitional grant recipients:
Amos House: Psychiatric Services Program
Grant Amount: $26,000
The Psychiatric Services program will continue to provide uninsured men and women with access to a psychiatrist on site who will provide evaluation, medication, and follow-up. Last year, through a sustainable partnership formed with Gateway Health Care, over 160 clients were evaluated and given prescription assistance for psychiatric medications as part of this program. The program will aim to service at least 200 clients in 2014.
The Providence Center: Health Connection Program
Grant Amount: $24,000
An integrated care manager has been working at The Providence Center for the past year to expand the agencys work advocating for new clients as they make a connection with a PCP at Providence Community Health Center next door. The care coordinator works to improve clients level of comfort in the primary care setting, ultimately improving the health of clients as they assure information given by both mental and physical health doctors is understood, which aids in continuation of care. In 2013, almost 700 clients were offered these wrap-around services, and in 2014 they aim to bring these services to an additional 900 clients.