Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas recently announced it is awarding 32 grants worth more than $3 million to organizations across Arkansas. Together the groups — made up of schools and non-profit, civic and municipal organizations — will work to improve the well-being of people in each of Arkansas’ 75 counties.
“The Blue & You Foundation is proud to support the efforts of these excellent organizations that are working in innovative ways to address behavioral health, maternal and pediatric health needs, and the social determinants of health in our state,” said Rebecca Pittillo, Blue & You Foundation president.
The Blue & You Foundation is a charitable foundation established and funded by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield to promote better health. Since its creation 22 years ago, the Foundation has awarded more than $62 million in grants. Nearly $6 million was announced on October 5 to address behavioral health in Arkansas youth and adolescents, including two programs for teen substance use disorder.
“The Foundation’s latest group of grant recipients is making an impact in all corners of the state, from Madison to Ashley Counties, providing resources ranging from support for expectant mothers to access to affordable housing,” Pittillo added.
These grants range from $12,000 to $200,000 and were awarded to the following organizations.
Maternal and Pediatric Health
Arkansas Birthing Project, $73,800 – This organization seeks to improve the pregnancy experiences and outcomes for black women by replicating the Birthing Project Sister Friend support model across rural counties.
American Academy of Pediatrics Foundation – Arkansas Chapter, $106,295 – The American Academy of Pediatrics in Arkansas will empower at least 100 Arkansas pediatricians to address substance use disorders in the pediatric primary care setting, implementing screening procedures and intervening in cases of youth substance use, reaching up to 50,000 Arkansas youth.
Arkansas Children’s Foundation, $200,000 – The Arkansas Children’s Foundation’s Community Health Navigator Program seeks to provide additional support services to teen mothers and their children, including food, housing, transportation and social support.
ASU Mid-South Community College, $70,000 – ASU Mid-South Community College will provide support services to improve the health and educational outcomes of postpartum mothers and their children in Crittenden County.
Hispanic Community Services, Inc., $90,032 – The organization plans to expand its La Cuña program, addressing the social, cultural, and linguistic barriers separating pregnant and postpartum Latina mothers from equitable pre/post-natal care and mental health services during and after their pregnancies.
Mercy Health Foundation – Fort Smith, $63,440 – Behavioral Health Care for Expectant and New Mothers in Western Arkansas is a project that provides integrated OB/GYN and behavioral healthcare to pregnant and postpartum women to improve patient and infant outcomes.
New York Institute of Technology at Arkansas State University, $114,380 – NYITCOM will utilize its mobile health team and the Community Champions of Health (CCH) model to create customized workshops for new mothers and their children to improve maternal and pediatric health outcomes and curb/prevent adverse childhood experiences in underserved areas of rural Arkansas.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, $56,800 – The organization plans to enhance mental health services for approximately 6,550 family members across Arkansas who stay at the Ronald McDonald House or in the Ronald McDonald Family Room while their children undergo treatment at Central Arkansas hospitals.
St. Bernards Development Foundation, $24,100 – St. Bernards Healthcare, through its Pregnancy Clinic, will augment postpartum support for 600 low-income women in Northeast Arkansas, holding postpartum support groups, providing referrals to behavioral health services, distributing postpartum educational materials and providing car seats.
University of Arkansas Foundation, Inc. (UAMS), $199,688 – The Family Medicine Parent Partnership program is an intervention designed to support mothers and mitigate the adverse effects of maternal depression on child health and development.
Arkansas Baptist College, $150,000 – Arkansas Baptist College seeks to create the Office of Counseling Services, which will provide on-campus behavioral health services for students, faculty and staff and promote best practices regarding behavioral health campus-wide.
Arkansas Rural Health Partnership, $50,000 – Through the Connecting Gen Z: Peer to Peer Support Program, the ARHP will increase connection, support and access to mental and behavioral health services for 45 Gen. Z youth (females, age 13-19) by replicating successful elements of the evidence-based peer recovery support program in this new target population through pilot efforts.
Boys and Girls Club of Benton County, $150,000 – Project Mindful Matters seeks to increase access to quality mental health services for all Benton County after-school/summer youth members by establishing a new, innovative service model.
Mercy Health Foundation Northwest Arkansas, $200,000 – Funding will be used to support Mercy’s Virtual Substance Use Recovery Program, offering rapid access to coordinated, virtually delivered medication-assisted treatment and ongoing behavioral therapies for 450 adults with opioid use disorder.
Returning Home, $50,000 – Returning Home’s Community Alternative Program seeks to offer a 120-day diversionary transitional living program option for those facing sanctions and revocations due to probation violations, allowing those in transitional living to acquire tools to maintain a sober lifestyle.
St. Bernards Development Foundation, $114,000 – St. Bernards Behavioral Health Center for Addiction Medicine will expand its addiction treatment services to serve up to 1,500 by hiring a therapist who specializes in addiction treatment to provide comprehensive care to those with substance use disorder.
The Illumination Foundation, $22,000 – The Illumination Foundation’s Pathways to Recovery program will provide peer support, outreach, education and treatment coordination for those recovering from addiction.
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, $167,668 – The University of Arkansas Partners for Inclusive Communities seeks to impact more than 475 individuals through expanded diagnostic capacity, surveillance, training and education for individuals with prenatal substance exposure.
University of Central Arkansas Foundation, Inc., $115,000 – The University of Central Arkansas Interprofessional Therapeutic Activity Program (I-TAP) aims to meet needs of people in Central Arkansas at risk for or diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or related dementias and their caregivers through wellness education, physical activity, cognitive engagement and socialization.
Wolfe Street Foundation, Inc., $180,494 – This funding will be used to provide long-term peer recovery support services to people in recovery and continue building a robust recovery community by establishing the state’s first drop-in Recovery Community Center in downtown Little Rock.
Social Determinants of Health
Beyond Boundaries, Inc., $38,180 – Beyond Boundaries seeks to improve the competitive employment rates of individuals with disabilities and provide comprehensive vocational training, habilitation services and real-world employment experience at Sips & Bits, a coffee trailer in Central Arkansas.
Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center, $50,000 – Child Safety Matters: Preventing Child Abuse and Resulting Trauma in Central/Western Arkansas will expand its age-appropriate, active-learning presentations that teach children to recognize the signs of danger and empower them to tell trusted adults who can help.
Goodness Village, $12,500 – Goodness Village will provide at least 80 Arkansas patients and their caregivers a total of 500 nights stay in an apartment at a discounted rate while they are in Little Rock for treatment and care.
Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas, $188,000 – The Habitat for Humanity Home Program seeks to build seven safe, energy-efficient and affordable homes for low-to-moderate income families.
Immerse Arkansas, $140,815 – Immerse Arkansas’ Youth Employment Program will provide employment-focused life skill classes, relational support, quarterly job fairs and intensive internships to 100 youth from crisis to increase job-readiness and overall economic stability.
Mainline Health Systems, Inc., $178,190 – The Mainline Health Systems program Breaking Barriers with Remote Patient Monitoring seeks to provide remote monitoring equipment to 780 patients enrolled in MHSI Chronic Care Management.
Margie’s Haven House, $27,505 – The organization’s Freedom from Domestic Violence-Safe Housing for Survivors program will rehouse at least seven families who are victims of domestic violence into safe and affordable housing by providing three months of rental and utility assistance.
Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter, $20,000 – The Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter seeks to provide financial support for rent, deposits and utilities for 32 families fleeing domestic violence through its rehousing program.
Potluck, Inc., $90,000 – The Rapid Food Recovery Team will create the infrastructure to support a cutting-edge program, enabling volunteers to accept food donation delivery opportunities with the tap of a button, preventing food waste and reducing food insecurity for 30,000 people in the first year.
Samaritan Community Center, $35,000 – Funds will be used to purchase food and software to serve low-income families in Northwest Arkansas, providing improved and equitable access to healthcare and community resources through its Collaborative Care Center.
Serve Northwest Arkansas $145,000 – Support will fund the addition of four shelter units at the New Beginnings NWA site, expanding health and social services support for homeless persons needing post-acute medical care and leveraging partnerships with regional health and education institutional partners.
University of Arkansas Foundation, Inc. (UAMS), $174,124 – GoVision AR will deploy a state-of-the-art mobile vision clinic to provide free, comprehensive eye examinations and glasses to children in areas with limited access to services, targeting socioeconomically disadvantaged schools statewide.
About the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas
The Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serves the state of Arkansas and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. In its 22 years of operation, the Blue & You Foundation has awarded more than $62 million for health-improvement programs in Arkansas. By strategically focusing its grand funding on community-based solutions, the Foundation hopes to nurture community health leadership, foster collaboration and innovation, and leverage financial, human and community resources to produce a measurable, positive impact. To learn more about the Foundation’s investments, visit blueandyoufoundationarkansas.org.