Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation Awards Grants - Asheville
Chapel Hill, NC – The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Foundation has awarded nine grants totaling more than $128,000 to nonprofit organizations that improve the health and well being of North Carolinians in communities across the state, including Buncombe County's YWCA of Asheville.
Grants were awarded to programs focusing on community needs consistent with the BCBSNC Foundation's mission. The mission includes increasing health care access for the uninsured and underinsured, eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities, encouraging physical activity, and promoting health screenings and education.
The YWCA of Asheville was awarded $15,000 to continue its Diabetes Wellness Project. The program provides diabetes services and educational outreach to underserved, diabetic populations in Buncombe County.
The Diabetes Wellness Project focuses particularly on the county's low-income minorities. According to the Buncombe County Health Assessment 2000 Report, blacks were two times more likely to have diagnosed diabetes than non-Hispanic whites. In fact, the population with the highest rate of diabetes in North Carolina is black women.
Medical evidence suggests that by increasing exercise, individuals can delay or prevent complications associated with diabetes. The YWCA Diabetes Wellness Project incorporates and focuses on physical fitness as a means of positively affecting diabetes management.
"The YWCA of Asheville is honored and grateful for this investment in the well-being of our community," said Holly Jones, executive director of the chapter. "This grant for our Diabetes Wellness Project will do a tremendous amount to help us further our mission of addressing the health needs of the underserved in our community."
Additional grant recipients are:
- Alamance Regional Medical Center—awarded $16,140 to establish a faith-based diabetes program targeting minorities and high-risk groups in Alamance County.
- Crossworks Inc.—awarded $10,000 to establish a heart disease screening and education project aimed at African-American populations in the rural, economically distressed counties of Edgecombe, Nash and Halifax.
- Healthy Children of Rowan County—awarded $15,000 to establish a Type II diabetes screening and education program targeting children in Rowan County.
- KOALA Inc.—awarded $5,000 to provide adult day health care services to the elderly in Transylvania County.
- New Bern-Craven County YMCA Inc.—awarded $7,019 to measure outcomes of the Kids in Motion program, a healthy lifestyles and weight management collaborative in Craven County.
- North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation—awarded $25,000 to provide a parent/caregiver education project in 63 counties to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- WakeMed—awarded $25,000 to provide physical activity as part of the hospital's pediatric diabetes assessment and management program serving many low-income and minority children.
- YMCA of Catawba County—awarded $10,000 to establish a physical activity and nutritional education program for overweight children in five western counties.
- YWCA of Asheville—awarded $15,000 to continue its diabetes services and educational outreach to underserved populations in Buncombe County.
"These organizations are doing important work, and it is essential that they be given the support they need to help promote and facilitate healthy living among North Carolinians," said Kathy Higgins, vice president of the BCBSNC Foundation. "We hope others are able to learn and grow from the example set by these great organizations."
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation is a separate, independent, nonprofit Foundation dedicated to improving the health and well-being of North Carolinians. The Foundation's focus areas include: Health of Vulnerable Populations - improving health outcomes of populations served by safety net organizations; Healthy Active Communities - increasing physical activity and encouraging healthy eating habits; and Community Impact through Nonprofit Excellence - increasing the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations. BCBSNC Foundation invests programs and services in response to grant requests and proactively creates initiatives or partners with organizations to address specific needs. It also coordinates several Signature Programs, among them, the Be Active Kids® and Healthy Community Institute for Nonprofit Excellence. More information is available at www.bcbsncfoundation.org.