Blue Shield of California Foundation Announces $10.7 Million in First-Quarter Funding

New grants will bolster California’s healthcare safety net and domestic violence services; Edward Cymerys named to board of trustees 

San Francisco, CA (March 26, 2013) — Blue Shield of California Foundation (BSCF) announced $10.7 million in first-quarter grantmaking today. The majority of these funds will focus on modernizing California’s healthcare safety net and strengthening its community health centers. Additional investments will help to reinforce state and national programs that are effectively addressing domestic violence. 

"California's healthcare safety net is going through an unprecedented transformation that will expand access to health care for millions of Californians to help them live longer, healthier lives," said Peter Long, Ph.D., president and CEO of BSCF. "Our Foundation is investing in community health centers and county health systems because they will play critical roles in reaching the full potential of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)."

With full implementation of the Affordable Care Act less than a year away, community health centers and counties are making major changes in how they enroll patients, coordinate services and deliver care. With this quarter’s investments, the Foundation is continuing to play a key role in helping safety net providers successfully adapt to an era of reform. This includes critical core support grants, which provide community health centers with the flexible funds they need to respond to new challenges.  

As part of the Foundation’s commitment to ending domestic violence, this round of funding will also help strengthen programs and organizations that coordinate care for victims and survivors, support military families and other high-risk populations, and teach young people about healthy relationships. 

Details about BSCF first-quarter grants are below:


The following grants are designed to strengthen the state’s health care safety net to ensure that all Californians have access to high-quality, effective, and affordable health care:

2013 Community Health Center Core Support Initiative (Statewide; up to $5 million): These unrestricted operating grant funds are aimed at strengthening the network of those delivering health care on the front lines. The Foundation’s long history of core support enables more than 200 community health centers across the state to continue to open their doors to millions of low-income and uninsured patients each year. 

California Family Health Council, Inc. (Statewide; $150,000): To help family planning and women's health centers identify and pursue strategies for success and sustainability under health reform.

National Academy of Sciences (Nationwide; $400,000):  To convene expert stakeholders to identify issues, options and approaches to measure the progress of the U.S. healthcare system toward achieving the "Triple Aim" of better health for populations, better experience of care for individuals, and lower per capita cost of care. 

American Institutes for Research (Statewide; $824,097): To develop a "scorekeeper" tool to help safety net providers and foundations assess progress toward achieving the “Triple Aim” of better health for populations, better experience of care for individuals, and lower per capita cost.

Project HOPE – The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc. (National; $175,000): To publish and disseminate research and analyses to help policymakers, government officials, researchers, and healthcare providers in California and across the nation understand key issues related to health reform implementation, especially the impact of reform on healthcare safety net providers in California.

Coverage Expansion under the ACA ($1,655,138): 

This group of grants is focused on enabling counties throughout California to maximize enrollment in Low Income Health Programs (LIHPs) in 2013 and transition LIHP enrollees and uninsured residents into coverage through Medi-Cal and the California Health Benefit Exchange. Funds will support the following organizations:

  • County of Santa Barbara Public Health Department (Central; $106,000)
  • Kern Medical Center (Central; $150,000)
  • Monterey County Health Department (Central; $125,000) 
  • Santa Cruz County Health Service Agency (Central; $110,000)
  • Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (Los Angeles; $150,000)
  • County of Shasta Health and Human Services Agency (North; $85,000)
  • Placer County Health and Human Services (Sacramento Valley; $87,747)
  • San Francisco Department of Public Health (San Francisco Bay Area; $225,000)
  • Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System (San Francisco Bay Area; $116,391)
  • Legal Aid Society of San Diego (Statewide; $300,000)
  • Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (Los Angeles; $200,000)

The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA; $125,808): To conduct research about California's remaining uninsured population following implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), focusing on youth and young adult immigrants who are eligible for the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), and disseminate the research to policymakers and stakeholders.


The following grants are aimed at expanding access to domestic violence (DV) services and improving systems of DV care by building a strong, coordinated network of DV providers; catalyzing innovation and shared learning; and advancing the DV policy dialogue. 

National Family Justice Center Alliance (Statewide; $850,000): To provide technical support to the California Family Justice Initiative, a network of co-located, multi-agency domestic violence service centers across California, and identify promising approaches to health services integration.

Foundation Center (Statewide; $125,000): To analyze and improve the taxonomy of the Foundation Directory Online database to better capture multiple dimensions of the domestic violence (DV) prevention and services field, examine and map DV foundation funding trends in California, and share results with the DV and philanthropic fields.

Peace Over Violence (Los Angeles, CA; $750,000): To institutionalize and implement promising teen dating violence prevention policy and programs in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Family Violence Law Center (San Francisco Bay Area; $500,000): To enhance and expand the work of Start Strong: Oakland to have the greatest impact toward the goal of preventing teen dating violence in Oakland.

San Diego Grantmakers (San Diego, CA; $100,000): To develop a regional, cross-sector community response to the needs of San Diego's veterans and their families, and serve as a national model.


The Foundation has also named Edward Cymerys to its board of trustees. Mr. Cymerys has served as senior vice president and chief actuary of Blue Shield of California since 2006. He plays a crucial role on the company’s leadership team and brings to the Foundation a wealth of experience in strategy and data analysis. Prior to joining Blue Shield, Mr. Cymerys spent over 20 years working in finance, actuarial, pricing, and underwriting at PacifiCare Health Systems, Towers Perrin, Health Industry Consulting, and Aetna Life & Health Plans, among others.


Blue Shield of California Foundation is one of the state’s largest and most trusted grantmaking organizations. Our mission is to improve the lives of all Californians, particularly the underserved, by making health care accessible, effective, and affordable, and by ending domestic violence. For more information visit:

The Foundation was formed by Blue Shield of California, a not-for-profit corporation with more than 3.3 million members, 5,000 employees, and 16 offices throughout California. Visit: