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Independence Blue Cross Foundation announces new grants supporting community health and wellness

PHILADELPHIA, July 13, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today the Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation) announced 15 grants totaling nearly $180,000 through its Building Healthier Communities program. The grants are aimed at improving the health and wellness of more than 10,000 residents across southeastern Pennsylvania, including children, female veterans, homeless men and women, and people affected by memory loss.

"There are many facets of health and wellness, which is why we support a variety of organizations that, collectively, are helping build healthier communities," said Foundation President Lorina Marshall-Blake. "Ultimately, our goal is to identify programs that drive positive behaviors and address a community's most pressing health and wellness needs."

In this latest round of grant funding, the Foundation supported 15 organizations, including the Veterans Group and Covenant House Pennsylvania.

  • The Veterans Group – Operation Warm Embrace (Female Veterans): To create a transitional facility, in collaboration with the Philadelphia Veterans Comfort House, for female veterans who may be struggling with the aftermath of substance abuse, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or the prospects of extended homelessness. Operation Warm Embrace is an 18-24 month program to help veterans return to self-sufficiency.
  • Covenant House – Street Beats: A pilot project meant to stabilize and improve the mental health of 500 homeless young people. Not only will the staff direct the homeless youth to onsite health services, they will also host a series of creative activities – primarily music-based – meant to encourage positive mental health and improved self-esteem and confidence.

In addition, the Foundation awarded grants to thirteen other organizations, including nine for the first time. The grantees include:

  • Center in the Park, Inc.: To support health promotion programs, especially for low-income older African Americans.
  • Christ Church Preservation Trust: To provide social support for people affected by memory loss and their caregivers through artistic simulation and social engagement.
  • Girls on the Run Philadelphia: To expand a program that inspires young girls to be healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running.
  • Good Samaritan Shelter: To increase food access in Chester County, especially for those who have limited transportation options or are homebound; to provide homeless men a wage-earning job, work experience and path to financial stability through a mobile food market.
  • Historic Fair Hill: To engage Fairhill residents in healthy, outdoor exercise through regular gardening activities and teach them how to grow, cook and preserve garden food.
  • Lupus Foundation of America: To increase the practice of self-management techniques necessary to improve confidence, problem-solving, overall quality of life and sense of empowerment.
  • National Center for Family Recovery: To create viable partnerships between parents, children, schools and the community.
  • Penn's Village: To support older adults and younger disabled persons so they can live independently.
  • Police Athletic League of Norristown: To encourage better nutrition and fitness lifestyles through activities such as workshops, cooking classes, sports activities and diverse dances.
  • Providence Center: To help children develop nurturing relationships, make choices that contribute to their growth and safety and explore creative outlets to understand and express their feelings.
  • Ralston Center: To support Ralston My Way home care which assists older Philadelphians
  • Special People in Northeast Inc.: To increase the physical, emotional and social wellness of children with and without disabilities that enroll in group activities; to engage children in learning activities that promote and target life skills development.
  • Tree House Books: To support the Life with Books literacy curriculum.

About the Independence Blue Cross Foundation

The Independence Blue Cross Foundation is a charitable, private foundation, whose mission is leading solutions for a healthier community. The foundation targets the following areas:

  • Securing the Blue Safety Net: Supporting private, nonprofit community health center clinics that increase access to quality, affordable healthcare in medically underserved areas.
  • Bolstering the Health Care Workforce: Strengthening the nursing, primary care, and allied health workforce through education, career development, and research.
  • Addressing Health Priorities: Collaborating with wellness partners to tackle the region's most pressing health challenges; currently combating the obesity epidemic through the IBC Foundation Healthy Futures Initiative.
  • Building Healthier Communities: Partnering with community leaders and programs to address community health and wellness needs.

Learn more by visiting our website: www.ibxfoundation.org. Connect with the Independence Blue Cross Foundation on Twitter and Instagram at @ibxfdn.

CONTACT: Media Contact: Ruth Stoolman Independence Blue Cross Ruth.stoolman@ibx.com 215-241-4807 (office) 215-667-9537 (cell)

Source:Independence Blue Cross