Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is accepting applications for a new $2.93 million grant program as part of a refreshed community investment strategy focused on social determinants of health.
“For decades, we have worked in close collaboration with local community organizations and partners, leveraging their knowledge, experience and talents on a local level to help support healthier communities,” Sheena Payne, director of BCBSTX community investments, said in a statement. “We’re continuing to build on that model and refining how we believe we can make a difference. It’s estimated that more than 50% of poor health outcomes are driven by SDOH factors, and we’re aligning our investments in areas where data shows we can make an impact.”
The new Blue Impact SM grants and other BCBSTX community investments will more directly target the social and economic factors that play a role in health and wellness. To apply for a 2023-24 Blue Impact grant, interested parties must submit a letter of intent before 5 p.m. March 3.
After review, organizations selected to apply will be notified about next steps. Applications for Blue Impact SM grants are available here.
Richardson-based Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas said the Blue Impact SM grant program replaces its Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grants and better reflects the company’s advanced focus on supporting optimal health outcomes for more Texans.
The company said that grants are just one way that BCBSTX supports local communities ─ its community investments also include microgrants and sponsorships, as well as in-kind donations, employee volunteerism and disaster relief.
Investing for better outcomes
BCBTX said that moving forward, all of its community investments will align under five areas of focus to better support the company’s mission to expand access to care.
The new focus areas are:
- Economic Opportunity and Stability: Addressing issues such as poverty, removing barriers
to employment, providing good jobs and upskilling.
- Nutrition: Supporting efforts to decrease hunger and increase access to nutritional food.
- Neighborhood and Built Environment: Focusing on affordable healthy housing, access to
transportation and access to physical activity.
- Locally Defined Health Solutions: Addressing hyperlocal health and human service needs.
- Optimal Health Outcomes: Helping close gaps in care, specifically around six priority areas:
immunizations; diabetes care; cardiovascular care; behavioral health; early detection cancer
screening; and maternal & infant health.
“We’re proud of all we have accomplished already, and the name of our new grant program reflects our focus on outcomes and making an impact,” Payne said. “With targeted grants, we’re supporting innovative approaches in Texas to address the maternal and infant health crisis, as well as helping add community health workers in rural and isolated areas to bridge gaps where there are provider shortages.”
BCBSTX President Jim Springfield said the program is a way for the company to contribute to the community.
“As the state’s largest provider of health benefits, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is deeply dedicated to contributing to the well-being of the communities where we live, work and play,” Springfield said in a statement.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is a statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas. It is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 80,000 physicians and healthcare practitioners, and 500 hospitals to serve more than 6 million members in all 254 counties.
It is a division of Health Care Service Corp., which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
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