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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation Announces Funding Opportunity

Saturday, March 6, 2010 General News J E 4
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Initiative focuses on social determinants of children's health

EAGAN, Minn., March 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation today announced the launch of the second phase of "Growing Up Healthy: Kids and Communities," a 10-year grantmaking initiative that began in 2006. It focuses on the social, economic and environmental factors that influence the health of children from pre-birth through age five.

The Foundation is accepting letters of inquiry through March 31, 2010. For complete guidelines, visit www.bcbsmnfoundation.org.

Planning grants of up to $25,000 are available. Through the planning process, funded organizations and their community partners will develop a shared vision of how to improve and protect the health of children across the state through place-based projects (county, region, reservation) that address health and at least two of three areas: early childhood development, housing and the environment.

Upon completing the planning process and developing a written action plan, partnerships can apply for an implementation grant of up to $150,000 over three years.

"We are pleased also to announce the launch of a Collaborative Leadership Program as a component of the next planning phase of Growing Up Healthy," said Joan Cleary, vice president. "The goal of the program is to build a base of community leaders who can lead efforts across the state to create healthier communities."

Phase II of the initiative builds on research and lessons learned from Phase I. The initiative has been expanded to include improving access to healthy food and community design that encourages active living. "We know that 50 percent of our health is determined by socioeconomic factors and the quality of our physical environment," said Foundation President Marsha Shotley. "We are seeing some emerging best practices from the first phase of this cross-sectoral work -- improved nutrition in child care settings across the state; better health for residents in several communities as a result of 'green' renovations; agreement across eight school districts in Carlton County on benchmarks for school readiness -- all of which will improve children's health for a lifetime."

For more information, call (651) 662-3950 or toll free 1-866-812-1593 or visit www.bcbsmnfoundation.org.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation is the state's largest grantmaking foundation to exclusively dedicate its assets to improving health in Minnesota, awarding more than $27 million since it was established in 1986. The Foundation's purpose is to look beyond health care today for ideas that create healthier communities tomorrow, through a focus on key social, economic and environmental factors that determine health, to improve community health long-term and close the health gap that affects many Minnesotans.

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation
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