The Illinois Retail Merchants Association thanks longtime partner, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) for their ongoing commitment to the communities we serve. Yesterday BCBSIL made the following announcement of their support to Illinois non-for-profit organizations that are committed to improving the health and wellness of Illinois residents. Please find details in the BCBSIL release below.
CHICAGO (August 24, 2022) – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) announced today that it has awarded nearly $2 million to 39 different not-for-profit organizations that are committed to improving the health and wellness of Illinois residents. The grants are part of the BCBSIL Recovery and Rebuild Fund for fiscal year 2023, which began on July 1.
“Health care doesn’t rest solely on medical professionals: social determinants of health play a vital role as well,” stated Stephen Harris, President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. “By addressing housing stability, food safety and security, anti-violence and employment programs in the communities we serve, we can continue our work toward leveling the playing field and meeting the challenges of health equity head on. These organizations are part of the solution, and we are thrilled to help them through our Recovery and Rebuild Fund.”
A few of this year’s grant recipients include:
- A Just Harvest Community Kitchen Program, Chicago: an organization that aims to “fight poverty and hunger in Rogers Park and throughout Chicago;”
- Aunt Martha’s, Olympia Fields: which has created a “Social Determinants of Health” campaign, with a goal of increasing health equity in lower-income communities;
- Central Illinois Food Bank, Springfield: a member of Feeding America that provides healthful food to residents in 21 different Central Illinois counties;
- Illinois Aging Services, Springfield: a not-for-profit organization that makes connections between those who need access to elder care services and service providers throughout Illinois,
- New Life Centers, Chicago: based in Little Village, this not-for-profit works to expand social service options and connections, primarily in Chicagoland’s Latino communities;
- Shelter Care Ministries, Rockford: an organization with a mission to “provide shelter, awaken hope, and honor dignity for every person who seeks assistance” through their programs; and,
- Teamwork Englewood, Chicago: a social service organization in the Englewood community on Chicago’s Southwest side, with programming that focuses, in part, on services that help ex-offenders re-enter the workplace.
The Community Recovery and Rebuild Fund was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is funded through BCBSIL’s “Healthy Families Healthy Kids” program, which distributes grants to organizations that work to address health and wellness issues at a grassroots level. The grants from this year’s fund Community Recovery and Rebuild Fund follow on the heels of the $1 million awarded in November as part of BCBSIL’s “Wellness Can’t Wait” campaign, which helped people to take a more active role in their health by providing increased access to vaccinations, screenings, and wellness visits postponed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to BCBSIL Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Derek J. Robinson, M.D., “As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and confront the evolving outbreak of monkeypox, we realize that certain groups and geographies have been more negatively affected than others, in areas of access to health, attention to long-term wellness, and the availability of screening services that can save lives. Through these organizations that are addressing barriers to health equity, BCBSIL is sharing our commitment to the health and well-being of all our members and the communities we serve.”
The grant process for this fiscal year addresses social determinants of health, with a specific focus on five areas that can have a measurable, positive impact on the health and wellness of the population:
- Health care access and quality;
- Education access and quality;
- Economic stability;
- Social and community context; and
- Neighborhood and built environment.
A complete list of grant recipients can be found here.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is dedicated to innovation and exploring, nurturing and activating future possibilities to make the health care system work better for our members and our communities. BCBSIL is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Learn more at bcbsil.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.