Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) announced today the awarding of more than $1.6 million in Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® (HKHF) grants to 12 community-based organizations statewide. The grants were awarded following an extensive evaluation process.
The funding will support BCBSTX’s continuing commitment to help combat and raise the awareness levels around preventing and managing chronic kidney disease (CKD) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — two conditions greatly impacting the life span, productivity and quality of life of Texans.
In 2017, BCBSTX launched a focused strategy to support community-based organizations across the state that were programmatically engaged in educating or helping Texans manage their CKD and COPD conditions. The strategy has proved empirically successful in decreasing emergency room visits, while increasing primary doctor and specialist visits, according to BCBSTX claims data.
For instance, BCBSTX data shows that total medical spending for members with CKD in counties with education and outreach events decreased $103 per member, per month, compared to members with CKD in counties without community outreach events.
“It’s important for us to collaborate with organizations that are making a difference in changing people’s lives through various outreach and education programs,” said Dr. Dan McCoy, president, BCBSTX. “When we launched this strategy we knew that this was the right thing to do for this health epidemic in Texas, because as a company what we do in the community is for everyone. Our members benefit from these efforts, but so does the entire community.”
Annually, the HKHF program receives numerous applications from organizations across the state. Each application was vetted on the basis of impact, feasibility, capacity, collaboration and sustainability. Grant recipients share BCBSTX's goal to raise awareness around the prevention and early detection of CKD and COPD.
This year's Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® grantees include:
- American Lung Association: Leading the fight for healthy lungs and air as well as on eliminating tobacco use and related lung disease
- National Kidney Foundation: Dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease
- It’s Time Texas: Focused on dramatically improving the landscape of health and wellness in Texas
- Texas Kidney Foundation: Fighting kidney disease through awareness, education, and prevention resources
- Shannon Medical Center: Through its Shannon Medical Center-San Angelo Diabetes Coalition — a program that includes kidney screenings and education on managing CKD
- Bexar County Community Health Collaborative: Uses a synergistic approach to solving critical community health needs in the Bexar County region
- MHP Salud: A national nonprofit organization that implements and runs Community Health Worker programs that provide peer health education, increase access to health resources and bring community members closer
- University of Houston Victoria: In conjunction with the Victoria County Public Health Department supports a program that will target kidney disease in at-risk populations
- El Paso Children’s Hospital: To support the children’s hospital mission in providing pediatric diabetes research and education
- Texas CASA: To support statewide child advocacy programs that provide a safe and positive future for all Texas children
- The Caring Foundation of Texas: A mobile immunizations program that provides access to immunizations, oral care and health education for uninsured and medically underserved children throughout Texas
- Baylor Health Care Foundation: To support the Baylor Scott & White Health and Wellness Center's health screening initiatives including chronic kidney disease, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes
Launched in 2011, HKHF started as a three-year project designed to improve the health and wellness of at least one million children through community investments. The program was extended as BCBSTX’s ongoing commitment to the health and well-being of the children and families across Texas.
The HKHF program — which centers on nutrition, physical activity, disease prevention and management and supporting safe environments — has impacted the lives of millions of Texas children. To date, BCBSTX has awarded more than $13.9 million in HKHF grants.