RICHARDSON, Texas, Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its effort to stem the rising tide of obesity and chronic diseases, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) announced today that the company has awarded more than $1.6 million in grants to 38 organizations across the state. The grants are part of its Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® (HKHF) initiative. HKHF began as a three-year campaign designed to improve the health status of Texas children. The goal is to engage children and their families in understanding the importance of four focus areas: nutritious food, raising the level of physical activity, improving immunization rates and promoting safe environments.
The 38 organizations receiving grants this year through the HKHF program are: Abilene Food Bank of West Central, Active Life, Inc., American Diabetes Association, AVANCE, Brighton School, Breakthrough, Capital Area Food Bank Texas, Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas, Inc., Caring for Children Foundation, Cyberways & Waterways, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, East Texas Access Network, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, Family Place, Family Promise of Odessa, Houston Food Bank, Houston Department of Health & Human Services Foundation, Food Bank of Rio Grande Valley, Jewish Community Centers Association of North America, Jubilee Park & Community Center, Los Barrios Unidos Community Clinic, Marathon Kids, Marshall Regional East Texas Food Bank, Memorial Hermann Foundation, Mi Escuelita Preschool, Recipe for Success, North Texas Food Bank, Real School Gardens, San Antonio Food Bank, San Angelo Concho Valley Regional Food Bank, San Antonio Amateur Sports Foundation, South County Community Clinic, Tarrant Area Food Bank, Texas Children's Hospital Foundation, Texas Extension Education Association, Texas Medical Association Foundation, Wichita Falls Area Food Bank and YWCA of Fort Worth. Each of the grant recipients are community partners that share BCBSTX's vision of improving the health and wellness of Texas children.
"Healthy Kids, Healthy Families is a natural extension of our legacy of caring and commitment to our customers," says Catherine Oliveros, Director of Community Affairs, BCBSTX. "We are always pleased to support organizations committed to the health and well-being of local communities across our state. Together, we will continue to address serious public health issues and the social factors that contribute to them, including childhood obesity, tobacco use, diabetes, heart disease, poor diet and lack of exercise."
The HKHF program started in 2011. During this three year period, BCBSTX has awarded $4.5 million to more than 60 charitable organizations. These community allies have developed sustainable, measurable programs to reach children and their families to improve health and wellness and build stronger, healthier communities.
Examples of BCBSTX's collaboration with community organizations include:
- Marathon Kids is excited to receive a grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas this year to support our Marathon Kids 26.2 Mile Challenge for thousands of Texas K-5th graders. Marathon Kids is a charitable organization committed to improving the health of children by providing them with the motivation, tools, and support in order to live happier, healthier lifestyles. "It's amazing to see kids and families take charge of their health as they learn from this vital program, which intercedes with resources and training, before children living sedentary lifestyles become obese or develop a diet-related illness." - Christine Pollei, Executive Director, Austin TX.
- "Upwards of 30,000 kids and parents, many in underserved areas of Texas, will benefit from our collaboration with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas' Healthy Kids, Healthy Families initiative. Their generous support of Texas Medical Association's 2014 Hard Hats for Little Heads program enables TMA physician, alliance and medical student members to join with local business and community groups to provide children a bike helmet along with encouragement to exercise safely. Both parents and youth learn the importance of wearing a properly fitted helmet every time they ride a bicycle, skateboard or scooter. " - G. Sealy Massingill, MD, president of TMA Foundation
- "With the generous support of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas' Healthy Kids, Healthy Families program, REAL School Gardens will build learning gardens in low-income schools and train teachers how to use them to help students succeed. Children love learning outside, and in addition to getting engaged in science, math, and language arts lessons in our outdoor classrooms, kids establish a connection with healthy fresh food and create a lifelong habit of getting active outside." –Jeanne McCarty, Executive Director, REAL School Gardens
About Healthy Kids, Healthy Families:
Healthy Kids, Healthy Families (HKHF) began as a three-year initiative designed to improve the health and wellness of at least one million children through community investments by Health Care Service Corporation and its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Reaching nearly three million children within the first two years, HKHF is now a signature program of the organization and part of an ongoing commitment to invest in and partner with charitable organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs to reach children and their families in areas of nutrition, physical activity, disease prevention and management, and supporting safe environments. To learn more about Healthy Kids, Healthy Families, please visit www.healthykidshealthyfamilies.org.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas – the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas – is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 40,000 physicians and 400 hospitals to serve 4.8 million members in all 254 counties. It has also been ranked "Highest Member Satisfaction among Commercial Health Plans in Texas" for three years in a row by J.D. Power and Associates. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (which operates Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico), the country's largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas