CHICAGO — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois announced today it has awarded $3.8 million to 76 nonprofit organizations committed to improving the health and wellness of Illinois residents. The grants are part of the newly created Blue Impact℠ grant program and were awarded beginning July 1.
“As we find new ways to help improve public health in the 102 Illinois counties we serve, we make grants available to organizations that are committed to tackling the challenges of health equity,” stated Tonita Cheatham, BCBSIL executive director of communications and community relations. “We’re delighted to expand our grants program this year and we look forward to building alliances with nonprofits that work to strengthen their communities.”
The 76 organizations represent a variety of nonprofits across the state, including:
- Cultivate Collective, Chicago: Developing and scaling an evidence-based community model where education, wellness, sustainability and economic vitality work in harmony to drive meaningful, multigenerational impact.
- Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Chicago: Dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social and political life of our diverse society.
Collar Counties (DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will)
- College of Lake County Foundation, Grayslake, Ill.: Aiming to deliver high quality, accessible learning opportunities, advance student success and strengthen the Lake County communities it serves.
- DuPage PADS, Wheaton, Ill.: Providing the most interim and permanent housing opportunities along with support services to help individuals work toward a place to call home.
- Lazarus House, St. Charles, Ill.: Helping people in need find shelter, food and other support services they need to get back on their feet.
- Crisis Center for South Suburbia, Tinley Park, Ill.: Providing emergency shelter and other essential services for individuals and families victimized by domestic violence and addressing societal issues that contribute to domestic violence.
- NAMI Illinois, Chicago (grant focused on Southern Illinois): Dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with mental health disorders and their families through support, education and advocacy.
- Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Ill.: Developing a local coalition — including school staff and SIU School of Medicine faculty — to establish a peer-to-peer program to mobilize students to become agents of change for mental health and well-being on their campuses.
- Springfield Urban League: Aiming to assist struggling and disadvantaged individuals to help them achieve social and economic self-sufficiency.
The Blue Impact Fund focuses on social determinants of health, and BCBSIL has identified five categories to support nonprofit partners working to improve health equity and access in their communities:
- Economic Opportunity and Stability: Addressing issues such as poverty, removing barriers to employment, providing good jobs and skills improvement.
- Nutrition: Supporting efforts to decrease hunger and increase access to nutritious food.
- Neighborhood and Built Environment: Focusing on affordable, healthy housing, as well as access to transportation and 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 and infant health.
See a complete list of Blue Impact grant recipients.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is the largest health insurer in Illinois, serving nearly 9 million members and operating in all 102 Illinois counties. BCBSIL is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Learn more at bcbsil.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.