BlueAngel Community Health Grants

At Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, we aim to improve the quality of life of our customers and all people of Rhode Island by improving their health. The BlueAngel Community Health Grant program–our annual, competitive grant program–allows us to further our vision by addressing critical health issues in Rhode Island. We achieve this by partnering with community-based agencies that share our goal of improving Rhode Islanders’ health, particularly in underserved communities.

This funding program is a key effort of our community investment at BCBSRI, and we are proud of the organizations we have partnered with and the results we have collectively achieved over the course of 15 years.

Since 2014, we’ve focused our funding on one of the most critical issues facing our state: preventing and reducing childhood obesity in Rhode Island’s youth. According to the CDC, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s. One third of children in the Unites States are overweight or obese, putting them higher risk for other chronic health conditions including asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, diabetes and risk factors for heart disease. These children are more likely to experience an unhealthy weight in adulthood - which is why funding for prevention is vitally important. This is especially true in low-income communities and communities of color in which children face an even higher risk of becoming obese than the national average.

By collaborating with local organizations, we hope to make our state healthier and stronger while easing the financial strain on our already overburdened healthcare system. Read more about childhood obesity in our state in this issue brief from Rhode Island Kids Count.

We are now accepting letters of intent for the 2019 grant funding cycle. Please learn more about how to apply below.

Here is how the application process works:
The grant application cycle for 2019 is now open. Please determine eligibility and complete a Letter of Intent via BCBSRI’s CyberGrants system by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 10, 2018 to be considered for 2019 grant funding. If you have not already created an account with BCBSRI’s CyberGrants system, please create one by selecting “Create your password” above the log-in section.

  1. Rhode Island-based organizations that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code are invited to submit a letter of intent. Collaborations and coalitions must have a lead applicant organization with 501(c)(3) status. Our preference is to fund organizations working in schools vs. funding individual schools directly. Similarly, preference for funding will be given to organizations working with state/city agencies vs. funding state/city agencies directly.
    Organizations must be seeking funding for programs addressing childhood obesity, specifically programs that:
    • Increase access to affordable healthy foods and/or safe places to be active.
    • Support local community-based organizations that provide community education and outreach on the importance of good nutrition, physical activity, and healthy weight for children and their families.
    BCBSRI will favor applicants that offer:
    • Innovative programs that expand and enhance services, increase capacity, and/or incorporate new strategies to support healthy body weights among young children
    • Evidenced-based interventions or prevention initiatives
    • Collaborations with one or more agencies working together
  2. Each letter of intent will be reviewed to determine if it meets the eligibility guidelines established by BCBSRI on the basis of our available resources for the current year. Organizations completing a letter of intent will hear from BCBSRI regarding a decision to invite a full proposal.
  3. Organizations invited to submit a full proposal will have approximately 30 days to complete the application online. Site visits will be conducted prior to the review committee convening. Proposals for funding are reviewed by a diverse volunteer review committee comprised of community representatives from both the public and the private sector. Funding decisions will be made based on the committee’s recommendations.
  4. Grant awards are announced in December, and funding begins in January of the following year. Grants may be renewed for a maximum of one additional year (at an equal or lesser amount) based on successful performance and results. All grant recipients will be monitored with six-month and year-end reports and periodic site visits.

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