Blue Ribbon Foundation grants access to care, healthy families funding

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Dental services for un/underinsured children, physical activity instruction for cancer survivors, and parenting education for at-risk families are among the areas of need being addressed by grants just awarded by The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Five grants were approved at the April 22 meeting of The Foundation's Board of Directors, providing $33,227 in funding to regional nonprofit programs that will serve more than 2,800 individuals.

The Foundation awarded the grants to health education and prevention programs that operate in the 13 counties across northeastern and north central Pennsylvania that are served by Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA). Each project met criteria under one of three grant categories: Health and Wellness Mini-Grants, Health and Wellness Impact Grants and Access to Care Grants for the Un/Underinsured.

"We're pleased to be in a position to support these critical health and wellness programs," said Cynthia A. Yevich, executive director of The Blue Ribbon Foundation. "Our funding will allow even more individuals to benefit from the important services these programs are providing."

Care for the un/underinsured
Pocono Medical Center's Valerie M. Hodge Memorial Pediatric Dental Center received a grant in the amount of $4,300 to purchase the supplies needed to provide dental exams, preventive dental care, and oral hygiene education to 1,600 un/underinsured children from Carbon, Lackawanna, Monroe, and Pike Counties.

In Lackawanna County, the University of Scranton's Edward R. Leahy Center Clinic for the Uninsured received an $8,000 grant to purchase the pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and immunizations needed to prevent and manage chronic health conditions, minor illnesses, and acute infections for 750 uninsured individuals.

Healthy children and families
The Employment Opportunity and Training Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania received a grant in the amount of $5,111 for its Parents as Teachers Program. Through this program, certified instructors will visit the homes of 75 at-risk families in Lackawanna County to provide guided parenting education and health and developmental screenings to all children under the age of five.

Ruth's Place, a program of Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania, was awarded a $7,056 Foundation grant. Ruth's Place will offer therapeutic group sessions to help 300 women in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties who are experiencing homelessness develop healthy living, coping, decision-making, and life skills.

The Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA received a grant in the amount of $8,760 for LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, an evidence-based program offered at Y's across the country. With Foundation funding, specially trained YMCA staff will provide customized physical activity and counseling to 48 adult cancer survivors in Luzerne County.

Find out more
For more information on The Blue Ribbon Foundation's next funding cycle, application deadline and eligibility criteria, please visit www.bcnepa.com, click on "Community Initiatives," then select the "The Blue Ribbon Foundation" tab.

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