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56: Blue Fund 2019: Building Communities

October 30, 2019

In Point of Health episode 56, "Blue Fund 2019: Building Communities," Mike Ball, Director, Blue Fund for BlueCross BlueShield gives us an update on initiatives that Blue Fund supported in 2018, and reveals the 2019 Blue Fund recipients.

Episode Highlights

What is Blue Fund? (1:24)

Blue Fun was launched in 2018 as a health focused grant program that builds on our company’s long history of giving back to the community, with the goal of improving health for our members  and all the communities that we serve.  We do this by investing in not – for – profit program and initiatives that will positively impact on outcomes in six key health areas:

  • Behavioral health
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Diabetes
  • The opioid epidemic
  • The healthcare work force
  • Healthy children

What are some highlights from the 2018 Blue Fund grant recipients? (3:06)

Highlights include the completion of two new playground builds at Mayors Park in North Tonawanda and Martin Luther King Jr. Park in the City of Buffalo; the opening of a medically-oriented gym at Jericho Road; and the design and programming of the Western New York Land Conservancy’s DL&W Corridor Trail.  The University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine “Buffalo Matters” program that has set a standard for addressing the opioid epidemic.

What is the application process for Blue Fund? (4:56)

Blue Fund is a competitive grant making process. The process begins in January with an online letter of intent that is requested by any nonprofit organizations that align with our six healthcare areas.  Selected organizations are then requested to send in a more detailed full application that expands on the letter of intent, as well as program schedule and a budget.

Who are this year's Blue Fund recipients?(7:04)

WNY: We awarded $2.5 million to 12 different organizations

  • Boys and Girls Clubs Collaborative of WNY
  • Compeer Buffalo
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County
  • Council on Addiction Recovery Services, Inc.
  • Directions in Independent Living, Inc.
  • Gateway Longview
  • Gerard Place
  • Kids Escaping Drugs
  • Massachusetts Avenue Project
  • Mental Health Advocates of WNY
  • Population Health Collaborative
  • Willie Hutch Jones Educational & Sports Program

NENY: We awarded $460,000 to 3 organizations

  • Foundation of CVPH for the Town of Schuyler Falls Spur of the Saranac River Trail Greenway
  • Coarc for Weaving Wellness; An Innovative Approach to Workforce Development in the Disabilities Field
  • Albany County Department of health for Developing Community Partnerships to Prevent Diabetes

Where can we find more updates of the Blue Fund organization? (9:49)

We will be consistently updating our own social media channels and our websites, ut the organizations themselves will be posting to their websites an social media channels as well. They can be located on our website for my information.

When can organizations start applying for 2020 grants? (8:54)

The process takes completely online at with all the information regarding dates and applications.

Did You Know?

Members who are eligible to receive a wellness debit card can use it toward wellness centers, therapy, spa services, and more. Learn where you can redeem your card today!