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S.C. BlueCross Foundation Awards $2.6 Million in Grants Statewide

July 05, 2012

Columbia, S.C. – In its latest grant award cycle, the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation awarded $2.6 million in grants to health care-related organizations, including assistance to address childhood obesity, the lack of dental services for low-income residents and the need for nurse practitioners in rural areas.

Since it was established in 2003, the foundation has allocated more than $40.4 million to address childhood health, community health, mental health, obesity, diabetes, nursing and rural area primary care, as well as health research conducted within the state.

The foundation has two grant cycles a year. Recipients of the recent round of grants are:

  • Greenville County School District, to expand training to 20 additional elementary schools each of the next two years to prepare meals using healthy, natural ingredients.
  • Williamsburg County School District, Project HOPE, to hire an additional school nurse and purchase and implement “The Organ Wise Guys Comprehensive School Program” in each elementary school.
  • S.C. Eat Smart Move More, Colleton County, to implement the second phase of a comprehensive community action plan to promote healthy eating and physical activity and ultimately create a model that can be replicated in other S.C. communities.
  • Classy Smiles, Georgetown, Horry and Williamsburg counties, to provide in-school preventive dental services to students in additional schools.
  • East Cooper Community Outreach, Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties, to expand dental clinic services to focus on overall oral health care.
  • Family Services of South Carolina, Richland, Lexington and Fairfield counties, to improve access to dental and vision care for an estimated 400-650 low-income children and adults.
  • First Steps of Charleston County in partnership with S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, for Nurse Family Partnership educating low-income, first-time mothers in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties.
  • Healthy Learners, Allendale, Dillon, Georgetown, Greenwood, Lexington and Richland counties, to provide health, vision and dental services to an estimated 4,000 low-income school children.
  • Greenville County EMS in partnership with the Greenville County Hospital System, Community Care Outreach Project, to identify inappropriate 911 calls and ER visits among high-volume users and to provide outreach to help them contact the right resources for their nonemergency needs.
  • Medical Mission 2012, through the United Way of the Midlands, for a two-day event in Columbia providing free health, vision and dental services to approximately 4,000 low-income residents.
  • United Ministries, Greenville County, to help low-income individuals get emergency prescriptions.
  • Anderson University, Anderson County, to help provide advanced technology featuring wireless human patient simulators for nursing school.
  • Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing, Charleston, to support enrollment of an estimated 70 doctorate-prepared nurse practitioners to increase primary care nurse practitioners in rural South Carolina.

“South Carolina ranks fifth in pre-term births and fourth in low birth weight babies. In Williamsburg County, over half of the students are overweight or obese, and in Greenville County that number is nearly 60 percent. The primary reason for hospital readmissions in Greenville County is lack of ability to obtain prescription medications. Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties have some of the country’s highest prevalence of heart disease, strokes, obesity, diabetes and infant mortality. We rank 43rd in the number of practicing primary care physicians, 41st in the number of physician assistants and 35th in the number of nurse practitioners,” said foundation Executive Director Harvey L. Galloway. 

“We commend the recipients of our grants for the good work they are doing, and we hope our foundation grants will help make a difference,” he said.

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation (www.bcbsscfoundation.org) is a independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Its mission is to promote the health of South Carolinians and to expand access to health care in South Carolina for the economically disadvantaged by supporting integrated research, education and community service.

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