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Blue & You Foundation Awards More Than $3.38 Million in Grants to Improve Health

In December, the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas announced 47 initiatives receiving grants totaling $3.38 million that will directly impact each of the state’s 75 counties. The Blue & You Foundation is a charitable foundation established and funded by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield to promote better health in the Natural State.

“These grants will fund dozens of projects touching Arkansans all over the state, from supporting the Arkansas Suicide Prevention Hotline to providing recreational therapy to youth aging out of foster care, the 2023 grants will impact Arkansans in a powerful way,” said Rebecca Pittillo, executive director of the Blue & You Foundation. “The organizations that we have funded are focused on improving the lives of people in our communities, which is also our goal at the Blue & You Foundation.”

Last year, the Blue & You Foundation funded 41 initiatives in Arkansas through its annual grants totaling $3,360,327.

Additional funds for 2023, in mini grants of up to $2,000 each, were recently awarded through the Foundation’s mini grant program for this year.

“This was another grant opportunity for schools, colleges, universities, nonprofit groups and municipal organizations to receive much-needed funds to help advance their projects and initiatives,” Pittillo said. “These grants were awarded to groups looking to fund safety equipment, school health initiatives and efforts to end food insecurity.”

Since 2001, the Blue & You Foundation has awarded more than $48 million to nonprofits and governmental agencies in all 75 counties. Those who submitted Letters of Intent between March 1 and April 1, 2023 for the 2024 round of large grants were notified by email on June 1 if their letter of intent was approved. Those who are approved must apply by July 15, 2023. Grants will range from $5,000 to $150,000. You can read more information on trainings and the Blue & You grant process on the website.

The Blue & You Foundation awarded $3.38 Million worth of grants to improve the health of Arkansans.

The 2023 Blue & You Foundation grant recipients are:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Little Rock ($50,000) – to provide a suicide prevention program in five school districts in Baxter, Crawford and Garland counties.

Arch Ford Educational Service Cooperative, Plumerville ($79,714.69) – to create a model agricultural program in schools in Cleburne, Conway, Faulkner, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Van Buren and Yell counties with materials to create gardens, greenhouses and animal husbandry to promote healthy diets and lifestyles.

Arkansas Cancer Coalition, Little Rock ($20,000) – to allow them to continue to provide mobile cancer screenings via the Arkansas Minority Health Commission’s Mobile Health Unit across Arkansas.

Arkansas Foodbank, Little Rock ($83,794) – to fund a Community Health Worker salary to manage a program to help people in Phillips, Monroe, Lee, and Arkansas counties become food secure long-term.

Arkansas Hospice, Inc., Little Rock ($140,100) – to provide palliative and advanced primary and hospice care using telehealth in 43 Arkansas counties.

Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, Little Rock ($92,363) – to fund a program targeting 25 Alliance partners around the state to provide Arkansans the skills and education to stretch their food budgets make healthy choices and connect with food resources.

Arkansas Imagination Library, Little Rock ($10,080) – to fund the Books from Birth program, a statewide initiative incorporating Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library initiative into the state’s two largest birthing hospitals to encourage literacy, parental involvement and education.

Arkansas Rural Health Partnership, Lake Village ($150,000) – to provide mental health first aid training to Arkansas first responders and other healthcare workers to care for children and adults in the state.

Arkansas State University System Foundation, Jonesboro ($136,250) – for the Foundation’s Diversifying our Curing Community program, assisting minority students who aspire to attend medical school.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Little Rock ($101,052) – to provide music engagement for Arkansas Children’s Hospital patients and nursing home residents.

Centers for Youth and Families, Little Rock ($149,483) – to provide integrated medical and behavioral healthcare to Pulaski County adults through a mobile healthcare unit and a primary care clinic.

Compassion Ministries, Ltd., Springdale ($12,577.30) – to provide case management, parenting education, housing and other services to pregnant and parenting teens in crisis.

Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center, Hot Springs ($31,224) – to fund a school-based child abuse prevention program in Clark, Garland, Grant, Hot Spring, Montgomery, Polk and Saline counties.

Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas, Cossatot ($64,000) – to provide hunger relief and hygiene items for students in need.

Equality Crew, Little Rock ($25,000) – to provide mentor and peer community building for LGBTQ+ youth in Northwest Arkansas.

Goodness Village, Little Rock ($10,000) – to provide short-term housing for cancer patients and their caregivers who travel to Central Arkansas for treatments.

Harmony Health Clinic, Little Rock ($46,364.67) – to expand services to provide more comprehensive medical and behavioral healthcare to uninsured, underserved, and homeless Arkansans.

Hispanic Community Services, Inc., Jonesboro ($79,750) –to provide bilingual mental health services and education in Craighead, Crittenden, Green, Independence, Jackson, Lawrence, Mississippi, Poinsett and Randolph counties.

Immerse Arkansas, Little Rock ($50,000) – to provide youth who are aging out of foster care, are homeless or trafficking access to recreational activities and other experiences to help them build healthy relationships, confidence, and develop positive coping skills.

Ivy Center for Education, Pine Bluff ($66,867.73) – to fund education, mentorship, and study supplies for students aspiring to pursue a medical career.

Jefferson Regional Medical Center Foundation, Pine Bluff ($150,000) – to provide cancer screenings and education to residents in Southeast Arkansas.

Lyon College, Batesville ($117,300) – to combine the efforts of Lyon College and the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville initiatives to prevent suicide, provide mental health services and help those in emotional crisis.

McGehee Hospital, Inc., McGehee ($112,250) – to expand its Chronic Care Management program, assuring holistic healthcare for individuals in Desha, Arkansas, Chicot, Drew and Lincoln counties, offering telemedicine, social work, and therapy services for patients with chronic conditions.

Neighbor to Neighbor, Pine Bluff ($25,000) – to provide food assistance, specifically protein, to underserved communities in Jefferson County.

Northwest Arkansas Crisis Intervention Center, Inc., Springdale ($70,004.39) – to support the Center’s suicide prevention hotline.

Northwest Arkansas Food Bank ($25,000) – to purchase healthy foods for the food bank’s mobile pantry program, serving Benton, Carroll and Washington counties.

Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter, Rogers ($29,500) – to provide healthy foods and mental health services to domestic violence survivors and their children in Benton, Carroll, Madison, and Washington counties.

Our House, Inc., Little Rock ($140,030) – to hire a disability coordinator who, working with UAMS, will offer targeted services to Arkansans with disabilities to overcome homelessness.

Ozark Mission Project, Little Rock ($40,000) – to construct wheelchair ramps, porches, and stairs for low-income, veteran and disabled residents.

Pack Shack, Cave Springs ($115,000) – to provide nutritious meals to Arkansans in Desha, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Mississippi, Monroe, Nevada, Ouachita, Saline, Sharp, St. Francis and Woodruff counties.

Pediatrics Plus Community Connections, Conway ($31,120) – to provide respite care, resources and support for families of special-needs children.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, Little Rock ($70,610) – to provide meals for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House with a critically ill child and meal vouchers to families with a child in the UAMS NICU.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkoma, Springdale ($26,445) – to provide room and board for families of children receiving care at Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith.

Shepherd’s Hope Medical Clinic, Little Rock ($25,000) – to provide health education resources to the Latinx community.

South Arkansas Community College, El Dorado ($68,755.95) – to purchase a high-fidelity pediatric simulation manikin and training for students in the school’s health sciences programs.

Springdale School District, Springdale ($105,115) – to fund the Springdale High School Medical Academy and purchase patient and CPR simulators.

The Call, Little Rock ($16,027.63) – to fund services to meet the immediate mental health needs of foster families.

Union Rescue Mission, Little Rock ($89,675) – to complete two temporary housing units and plan eight more for those recovering from mental health disorders, substance use disorders, and domestic violence.

United Way of Northwest Arkansas, Inc., Lowell ($79,400) – to expand the Arkansas 211 program to offer Latinx and Marshallese populations linguistically appropriate information about food assistance, behavioral health services and other community programs.

University of Arkansas Foundation, Inc. (ASMSA), Hot Springs ($75,000) – to develop a health education curriculum integrated within STEM fields, farm-to-school activities with hands-on agriculture experiences and exposure to new food options.

University of Arkansas Foundation, Inc. (UAMS), Little Rock ($90,230) – to provide mental health services at 16 primary care clinics across Arkansas and support training of primary care health workers.

University of Arkansas Foundation, Inc. (UAMS), Little Rock ($112,389) – to fund peer support services for patients battling substance use addiction and mental health disorders.

University of Arkansas Foundation, Inc. (UAMS), Little Rock ($149,984) – to support the Family Medicine Parent Partnership Program, designed to help mothers and address maternal depression.

University of Arkansas – Fayetteville School of Social Work, Fayetteville ($73,550) – to evaluate its primary care internship program and the impact of social workers in a primary care setting.

University of Arkansas Little Rock, Little Rock ($60,200) – to evaluate the school’s primary care internship program and the impact of social workers in a primary care setting.

University of Central Arkansas, Conway ($51,801) – to fund a program providing healthcare and services to those with dementia or at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease utilizing students and faculty.

University of Central Arkansas, Conway ($142,680.90) – to purchase diverse manikins and related equipment for the Nabholz Center for Healthcare Simulation.

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