Florida Blue Foundation Accepting Applications for Statewide Health Literacy Grants Program

Feb 09, 2016, 12:10 ET from Florida Blue Foundation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Grant proposals are now being accepted for the Florida Health Literacy Initiative, a partnership of the Florida Blue Foundation and the Florida Literacy Coalition (FLC). This effort provides health-education resources for local adult English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and family literacy programs so that students in these programs can make informed choices about their health and nutrition. The cornerstone of this statewide initiative is a mini-grants program that will award 14 grants of $5,000 each in May.

The application and guidelines are available on the Florida Literacy Coalition's website at www.floridaliteracy.org. Proposals must be received by March 7, 2016.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than a third of U.S. adults—77 million people—have difficulty with common health tasks, such as following directions on a prescription drug label or adhering to a childhood immunization schedule using a standard chart. Non-native speakers of English, older adults, recent refugees and immigrants and people with less education than a high school degree are among those who are most vulnerable. 

People who lack literacy and health literacy skills are much more likely to take medications incorrectly, be hospitalized, and spend more time in the hospital than people with higher health literacy. These individuals also are four times more likely to have poor health. The potential for savings and better health are significant. Adult education, literacy and family literacy programs can play an important role in helping people to acquire these skills.

"At Florida Blue and the Florida Blue Foundation, we are committed to helping people and communities achieve better health," said Susan Towler, Florida Blue Foundation vice president. "By partnering with the Florida Literacy Coalition and supporting the Florida Health Literacy Grant Initiative, we are reaching more and more Floridians every day and positively impacting their health and well-being."

Working with local literacy programs, the Florida Health Literacy Initiative has already reached more than 14,000 students in 51 Florida communities. This, the eighth year of funding through the Florida Blue Foundation, will reflect a combination of new grants and renewal grants, allowing current programs to continue and build upon their ongoing efforts.

"This initiative has had a tremendous impact on thousands of adults and families throughout our state," said Greg Smith, executive director of FLC. "It reflects Florida Blue Foundation's outstanding commitment to helping adult learners develop the skills they need to be informed health advocates for themselves and their children."

About the Florida Literacy Coalition 
Established in 1985, the Florida Literacy Coalition (FLC) promotes, supports and advocates for the effective delivery of quality adult and family literacy services in the state of Florida. As a statewide umbrella literacy organization and the host of Florida's Adult and Family Literacy Resource Center, FLC provides a range of services to support more than 250 adult education, literacy and family literacy providers. Special emphasis is placed on assisting community-based literacy organizations with their training and program development needs.

About Florida Blue Foundation 
Florida Blue Foundation is a trade name of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation, Inc. Florida Blue Foundation is a separate, philanthropic affiliate of Florida Blue, Florida's Blue Cross and Blue Shield company. The Foundation and its parent are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information about the Foundation, please visit www.floridabluefoundation.com.

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SOURCE Florida Blue Foundation