Grants help develop healthier neighborhoods and children
($930,000), healthy neighborhoods ($528,580), community support ($468,614), and the Healthy Together immigrant health initiative ($300,707).
Through the focus on young children, grantee organizations improved the quality of housing, reduced children's exposure to harmful chemicals, increased readiness for kindergarten and increased children's access to healthy foods and safe places to play.
"As much as 50 percent of our health is influenced by the conditions where we live, learn, work and play," said Carolyn Link, executive director. "Having access to health care and making healthy choices are important, but they account for only half of our health. We're re-thinking the model of what contributes to good health, and that includes addressing the social and economic factors. Making an investment in a healthier neighborhood, or early childhood learning is very much an investment in health."
As part of its healthy neighborhood focus, the Foundation is working with The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation by funding two health impact assessments in Minnesota. Health impact assessments are studies that can help policy makers and community members better understand the potential health impacts of policy proposals, programs or projects in non-health sectors such as agriculture, energy or education.
"We want to help create neighborhoods where everyone has the opportunity to be their healthiest," said Link. For a listing of all the 2011 grants, visit www.bcbsmnfoundation.org.
Program Communications Consultant
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation
The Blue Cross Foundation is the state’s largest grantmaking foundation to exclusively dedicate its assets to improving health in Minnesota, awarding more than $30 million since it was established in 1986. The Foundation's purpose is the make a healthy difference in people's lives by improving the community conditions that affect the health of children and families and close the health gap that affects many Minnesotans.