BCBSMT Grants Help Montana Nonprofits Build Healthy Kids and Healthy Families

BCBSMT Grants Help Montana Nonprofits Build Healthy Kids and Healthy Families

At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, we take great pride in doing our part to improve the health and wellness of Montana’s children through direct efforts or by supporting organizations that share our vision.

That’s why we awarded $50,000 grants each to four organizations with similar hopes and dreams as part of our Healthy Kids, Healthy Families (HKHF) initiative. HKHF is part of an ongoing commitment to invest in our partnerships with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs to reach children and their families in five focus areas:

  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Disease prevention and management
  • Supporting safe environments
  • Suicide prevention

“These organizations, like us, are focused on improving the health and well-being of Montana’s children and families,” BCBSMT Manager of Community Relations Jesse Zentz said. “We’re proud to support their work through the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grant program and trust they will produce positive results for young Montanans, our most valuable resource.”

The 2016 winners are …

  • oneHealth, a community-based, outpatient primary health care center designed to serve Custer County and other communities in eastern Montana, will use the money to promote health and wellness in schools. Registered nurses will attend the Zero Suicide Academy, a two-day training for senior leaders of health and behavioral health care organizations that seek to dramatically reduce suicides among patients in their care. Using the Zero Suicide framework, nurses will incorporate promising practices into direct care of students and into the processes to improve care and safety for children at risk. Nurses will also work with schools on policy development and training; and on implementation, evaluation and outcomes related to physical and mental health.
  • Thrive is a grant recipient for the second consecutive year. The 29-year-old Bozeman organization focused on engaging parents and empowering children will again use the support to enhance the Partnership Project to Strengthen Families. The project is focused on providing services to high-risk teen or young parents with children ages 0–5. The services include providing parent education and support, health, mental health and child care services though collaboration with Gallatin City-County Health, and a network of mental health and child care providers. Founded in 1986, Thrive serves more than 8,800 individuals each year through its varied programs.
  • Project ECHO – which stands for Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes – is a collaborative medical education and care management model that empowers clinicians in remote settings to deliver better care to more people locally. By teaming together local providers with experts from around the state and region, Project ECHO serves as a virtual medical rounds, where doctors, nurses, specialists and social workers can discuss cases and prescribe the best form of treatment. In Billings, the ECHO model focuses on research-validated and clinical-based methods to treat addictions and behavioral health issues. Through Project ECHO, Billings Clinic is currently piloting the program with the Rimrock Foundation and the Montana Department of Corrections.
  • Founded in 1991, Montana Conservation Corps is a statewide organization that employs 35 people and brings youth together to work on conservation projects as a means of helping them develop as individuals, leaders and citizens. MCC helps participants develop leadership, communication, teambuilding, service, citizenship and stewardship skills. The group intends to use the HKHF grant to serve more youth between the ages of 13 and 18. Currently, only 30 percent of the 450 children served are teens. By emphasizing outreach to that age group, the MCC hopes to increase that percentage to 70 percent and a total of 1,000 children by 2020.

The Healthy Kids, Healthy Families initiative is only one way BCBSMT continues to serve the state of Montana. Last year alone, BCBSMT awarded hundreds of sponsorships and grants to organizations throughout Montana and our employees are dedicated volunteers in the communities we live in.

Be sure to click here for more information about the application process, which opens in spring 2017.

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