Grants Improve Health Care Access for Uninsured Floridians

Sep 12, 2011, 09:00 ET from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Sept. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation (BCBSF Foundation), the philanthropic affiliate of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF), recently approved grants to Florida health nonprofits to help improve access to health care for Floridians in need.


"During our first decade, more than one million people have accessed health care services through nonprofit health care programs supported by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation," said Susan Towler, vice president, BCBSF Foundation. "It is our goal to improve the health and well-being of Floridians and their communities. These most recent grants have great potential to make health care available to thousands of people who are most in need."

Grant recipients, totals and program areas funded are:

  • Community Health Services of Marion County (Heart of Florida Health Center) -- $100,000 (one year) -- to launch a dental program in a predominantly rural county in Central Florida.  The program will offer a full complement of preventative and restorative care for children under 18 and limited emergency services for adult patients.
  • Comprehensive Community Care Network (FoundCare) -- $100,000 (one year) -- to expand access to primary care and diagnostic services, as well as serve uninsured patients in a Palm Beach County health center.
  • Florida's Vision Quest -- $68,000 (one year) -- to provide disadvantaged high school students with free vision screening and, if needed, a comprehensive vision exam and corrective eyeglasses.  Program will benefit students attending Oak Ridge High School in Orange County.
  • Good Samaritan Health Centers -- $96,000 (three years) -- to increase access to dental care for uninsured, low-income adult residents in St. Johns County.  Good Samaritan's Wildflower Clinic Dental Program is the only program of its kind in the county.
  • Kids in Distress -- $90,000 (two years) -- to provide dental services to uninsured children at the KID Dental Clinic, a collaborative effort with Nova Southeastern University (NSU) College of Dental Medicine.  
  • PanCare of Florida -- $100,000 (two years) -- to initiate primary care services on the tribal grounds of the Muskogee Nation of Florida (MNFL), where 53 percent of its residents live at or below the Federal Poverty Level. Grant will be used to set up, staff and equip a clinic.
  • Vision is Priceless Council -- $81,000 (two years) -- to provide free vision screenings and follow-up care for uninsured adults and children at risk for eye disease in Duval County.  
  • Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, Martin County -- $100,000 (two years) -- to treat an increase in patients seeking mental health services.  Currently, nearly 800 of the clinic's 1,200 patients are requesting mental health care.
  • WomanKind, Monroe County -- $66,000 (two years) -- to increase access to primary and gynecological care for low-income, uninsured women in the lower Florida Keys.  Grant fund will allow the clinic to increase its hours and serve more patients.  
  • Women's Center of Jacksonville -- $99,000 (two years) -- to increase the services of the Mental Health Counseling Department, providing individuals, couples and families with counseling, including survivors of abuse.  

This financial support is part of the BCBSF Foundation's biannual Improving Access to Health Care (IMPACT) grants program.

About BCBSF Foundation

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation (BCBSF Foundation) is a separate, philanthropic affiliate of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF), incorporated in the state of Florida. The BCBSF Foundation, and its parent, BCBSF, are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information on the BCBSF Foundation, please visit its website at

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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation