BlueAngel Community Health Grants

Grant Recipients

At Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, our vision is to improve the quality of life of our customers and the people of Rhode Island by improving their health. The BlueAngel Community Health Grant program—an annual, competitive grant program—allows us to further our vision by addressing critical health issues in Rhode Island. We achieve this by partnering with community-based agencies that are trying to improve the health of Rhode Islanders.

This funding program is the cornerstone of our community investment activities at BCBSRI, and we are proud of the organizations we have worked with and the results achieved since we began collaborating with partners in this way more than 13 years ago. It takes a team!

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island has been committed to improving the health of Rhode Islanders for more than 77 years and in 2017, we will continue that work by facilitating healthy habits in the next generation. As part of our 75th Anniversary year in 2014, Blue Cross expanded its philanthropy focus to include childhood obesity; investing resources to change the trajectory of overweight and obesity in RI’s youth. This coming year, we will continue our focus on Rhode Island’s children and funding for initiatives that contribute to a healthy weight for all. Preventing obesity during childhood is critical; health habits formed at a young age are proven to have a huge impact on health outcomes in adulthood. About one third of American children can be classified as either overweight or obese - a proportion which has remained relatively consistent since 2003. Funding in this area is vitally important, especially in low-income communities and communities of color in which children face an even higher risk of becoming obese than the national average. We believe childhood obesity is one of the most critical issues facing our children and our state:

  1. Today, childhood obesity is projected to cost children five years of their lives. If youth health continues on its current path, this generation will be the first to not live longer than their parents.
  2. Children and adolescents who are overweight or obese are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, sleep apnea, joint pain, along with several other acute and chronic health problems. Aside from obesity’s physical consequences, obese children and youth are susceptible to unique social and psychological problems like stigmatization, bullying, and low self-esteem.
  3. Childhood obesity costs up to $14 billion per year in direct healthcare costs.

By collaborating with organizations that are working to reverse or prevent the epidemic of childhood obesity, we hope to play a role in making our state healthier and stronger while saving lives and easing the financial strain on our already overburdened healthcare system. Funding is available to Rhode Island-based, non-profit organizations implementing projects that aim to:

  • Collect and capture statewide data regarding the state of children’s weight in Rhode Island
  • Increase access to affordable healthy foods and/or safe places to be active
  • Support local community based organizations that provide community education and outreach on the importance of good nutrition, physical activity, and healthy weight for children and their families

Blue Cross will favor applicants that offer:

  • Innovative programs that expand and enhance services, increase capacity, and/or incorporate new strategies to support healthy body weights among young children, or
  • Evidenced-based interventions or prevention initiatives
  • Collaborations with one or more agencies working together
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