Updated March 26 at 6:25pm
health insurance

Blue Cross announces $200K in access grants


PROVIDENCE – Under its Blue Angel Community Health Grant program, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island donated $200,000 in grants to eight local community agencies and groups, the health insurer announced on Feb. 27.

Each recipient will receive $25,000 targeted at improving quality and access to care for Rhode Island’s uninsured and under-insured populations.

“Training Community Health Workers; improving access to healthy foods in Providence’s low-income areas; and providing health care services to chronically homeless individuals in Woonsocket are just a few of the worthy efforts being undertaken by this year’s recipients,” said Peter Andruszkiewicz, president and CEO for Blue Cross. “We are grateful for the opportunity to support these local organizations in their efforts to improve access to high-quality healthcare for some of the state’s most vulnerable populations.”

First-time grantees include:

  • Community Health Innovations of Rhode Island will receive funding to train 12 community health workers to identify and prioritize health needs and disparities at two sites – the Southeast Asian Economic Development Center and Mount Hope Learning Center.

  • Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island will use the funding to help launch the ECO Youth Multimedia Community Educators Food Justice Project, building on the success of the Healthy Corner Store Initiative underway in low-income areas of Providence that do not have easy access to healthy food options.

  • Ready to Learn Providence will expand their “Healthy Futures” AmeriCorps program to ensure that children arrive at school ready to learn.

  • Wood River Health Services will use the grant to hire a patient outreach educator to engage and educate low- and moderate-income residents on the availability of affordable medical, dental and social services care.

    Four organizations will receive their $25,000 grants as the second-year of funding.

  • Providence Community Health Center will use the funds to expand the hours of its urgent care center that opened in 2009.

  • Thundermist Community Health Center will use the grant to continue its case management services for chronically homeless individuals in Woonsocket.

  • Youth in Action will continue to use their grant money to to provide more than 700 teens in underserved communities with education about healthy sexual decision making.

  • Dorcas Place will use its grant to strengthen their program called The Rhode Island Welcome Back Center, which strives to build bridges between internationally educated health professionals living in our community and the need for a more diverse healthcare workforce.

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