Blue Shield of California Foundation Announces $9 Million in Fourth-Quarter Grants
Major funding to build the next span in California’s bridge to health reform, increase cultural competency of domestic violence services
San Francisco, December 14, 2011 — Blue Shield of California Foundation (BSCF) today announced $9 million in fourth-quarter grants, bringing total grantmaking for the year to $27 million. The majority of the grants focus on strengthening the state’s healthcare safety net before 2014, when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act goes into effect.
“The state has made strong progress preparing for health reform, and we must keep the momentum going as there is much work still to be done,” said Peter V. Long, Ph.D., president and CEO of BSCF. “Our focus is on supporting California’s safety net providers to become a first-class system of care.”
Long noted that during the summer California counties provided healthcare coverage to nearly 100,000 previously uninsured residents under the state’s Medicaid waiver, widely seen as a bridge to health reform. Much of the Foundation’s fourth-quarter grantmaking will help counties continue to progress in expanding coverage to low-income Californians in the coming year. Significant investments are also being made to help key community health centers improve the use of information technology, which will be essential in tying payment to health outcomes when health reform is fully implemented.
The Foundation is also investing in organizations working to end domestic violence to more effectively serve California’s diverse population by improving their cultural competency (e.g., providing linguistically and culturally responsive services that demonstrate an understanding of how one’s culture may require different approaches).
Health Care and Coverage ($6,849,499)
The following is an overview of new funding to create a more integrated health care safety net able to effectively serve low-income Californians. A full list and description of grants is available here.
Using Technology to Strengthen the Safety Net
One of the key changes that community clinics and other safety net providers need to address are how to develop a more coordinated system of care and use data more effectively to improve the health of patients. Toward that end, BSCF is granting $4.5 million to bolster counties, community clinics, and other safety net providers in their use of electronic health records and build data capacity to improve patient care and encourage providers to integrate their services and securely share patient information.
Expanding Coverage Under Health Reform
BSCF continues to play a leading role in supporting the state’s efforts to take full advantage of opportunities presented by health reform in efforts to ensure all Californians have access to high-quality health care. Fourth-quarter grants totaling $2.3 million, including more than $1.5 million to 13 counties, will support expansion of health coverage through the Medicaid waiver. It will also support information and analysis that are critical to inform successful implementation of health reform.
Reaching Beyond Health Reform
Through a $50,000 planning grant the Foundation is identifying ways to address access to care for those who will not be covered by health reform. This support will examine how school based health centers can be integrated into the broader healthcare delivery system.
Blue Shield Against Violence ($2,047,385)
The Foundation also announced 14 new grants (listed here) to strengthen culturally appropriate domestic violence services for Native American/American Indian, Black and African American, and recent immigrant populations across California.
“Our research shows that many of California’s ethnic groups experience higher rates of domestic violence, but may be less aware of and less likely to seek services,” said Long. “We can make great strides in ending domestic violence in California by addressing this issue.”
The 14 organizations will receive support to work with domestic violence survivors and community members to increase awareness and promote cultural competence; strengthen existing cultural competency efforts; and work with new partners to promote a more culturally competent response to domestic violence.
The Foundation is also supporting Taproot Foundation ($100,000 over 12 months) to provide pro bono consulting services in areas such as marketing, information technology, and human resources to community clinics and domestic violence service providers.
About Blue Shield of California Foundation
Blue Shield of California Foundation is one of the state’s largest healthcare grantmaking organizations. Visit: www.blueshieldcafoundation.org.
The Foundation was formed by Blue Shield of California, a not-for-profit corporation with more than 3.4 million members, 4,800 employees, and 20 offices throughout California. Visit: www.blueshieldca.com.