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Health and Education Disparities

About Health and Education Disparities/Collective Impact Grants

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of Louisianians. Serious health issues in Louisiana disproportionately impact the economic vitality, educational attainment and quality of life in the state and in communities.

In Louisiana, systemic discrepancies in access to essential services in health and education, in addition to various other factors, have created disproportionately negative outcomes for children and particularly African American children. Data show that when compared to people of other backgrounds, black Louisianans are 1.5-4 times more likely to experience negative outcomes in health status and mortality, social services and educational achievement – regardless of their income status. African American children are especially vulnerable to these same impacts, particularly so when other compounding factors are present such as poverty, family situation (single parent households as one example) and geographic isolation.

Too many of our state’s children aren’t able to access the happy, healthy futures they deserve. The obstacles are clear, and a growing body of evidence suggests that attempts to address gaps in health care and education at an early age are especially likely to yield positive results. Furthermore, projects around the country have proven that closing the gaps along racial and socio-economic lines for children leads to better outcomes not just for these children but for the whole community.

The Blue Cross Foundation is issuing a challenge to communities across the state to help address this major public health concern. We are seeking community-level proposals that mitigate the impacts of inequity for the whole child; multiple partners acting to improve outcomes in health, education and social services/child welfare.

Blue Cross’ Challenge for Louisiana’s Children will help provide much needed resources to communities across the state being to address systemic challenges and reshape their environments to ensure that children who have traditionally faced the most obstacles get the resources and supports they need to grow up to live happy, healthy, productive lives in our state.

Quick Summary:

  • Purpose – These grants are made to coalitions working to close to gaps in health and education for Louisiana’s children by addressing structural inequities and access.
  • Amount – Grants range from $250,000 to $1 million over three years (full awards will be made in one-third increments per each year of the project upon meeting annual performance benchmarks).
  • Matching – Collective Impact grants require a minimum one-to-one match (may come from multiple sources; up to one-half may be in-kind).
  • Results – As part of their grant contract, all grantees must outline measurable results and deliverables as well as their commitment to achieving those results.
  • Applying – Applications are made through a Letter of Intent, submitted online at bcbslafoundation.org
  • Deadlines – 4:30p.m. CST on March 1 and September 1; If the 1st falls on a weekend or holiday we will accept Letters of Intent through the deadline, but we will not be in the office to answer questions. In this case, we recommend submitting your Letter of Intent no later than 4:00pm CST on the last work day preceding the deadline.