Healthy Kids, Healthy Families®
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) takes great pride in doing our part to improve the health and wellness of Montanans
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) takes great pride in doing our part to improve the health and wellness of Montanans through direct efforts or by supporting organizations that share our vision. That’s why BCBSMT awarded $50,000 grants each to four organizations with similar hopes and dreams as part of our Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® (HKHF) initiative.
HKHF is part of an ongoing commitment to invest in our partnerships with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs to reach children and their families in five focus areas:
- Physical activity
- Disease prevention and management
- Supporting safe environments
- Suicide prevention
HKHF is part of an ongoing commitment to invest in our partnerships with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs to reach children and their families.
The 2017 winners are …
- Eagle Mount is committed to providing quality therapeutic recreational opportunities for people with disabilities and young people with cancer, and to providing support for families of participants. For seven years, Eagle Mount has staged Adventure Days to allow children with disabilities the opportunity to get outdoors and experience the wonder and enjoyment Montana’s summers have to offer. With the boost from HKHF, the Bozeman-based nonprofit organization hopes to continue the program’s successful track record. Participant activities include hiking, backpacking, fishing, kayaking, rafting, singing, swimming, golfing and more. Conceived in 2010 as a six-week program, Adventure Days has grown each year, and now is eight weeks long, including friends and family days. Participation in 2016 was at an all-time high. .
- Rocky Boy Schools – located on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation near Box Elder – is rurally isolated and tasked with educating a population of children affected by high levels of poverty. Despite facing those hurdles, its core mission of preparing students to be successful in life is resolute. The HKHF grant will help Rocky Boy Schools launch a new initiative to provide stability and opportunity for children and their families through gardening, nutrition education and hiking. Traditionally, Rocky Boy Schools has relied on the free and reduced lunch program and school athletic programs to provide students with stability, and fun and safe activities that promote health and well-being for youth and the community as whole. With money from the grant, school officials hope to add another layer to that care through two new objectives that go beyond the traditional options. The objectives are introducing a youth gardening program, as well as launching a nutrition and hiking program. Both programs will serve at least 60 students in grades 3-8, according to Rocky Boy Schools representatives.
- Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, The Montana Coalition, Inc. (HMHB) was founded in 1984 by a pediatrician and a group of health professionals. It was based on the national Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies model and has worked for over 30 years to improve maternal and child health in Montana. HMHB will use the funds to improve the health, safety and well-being of Montana families by supporting mothers and babies, ages 0 to 3. With the money from the grant, organizers intend to partner with three communities to better link parents of new infants to supportive community resources to help more children live in safe and nurturing environments. In each of those three communities, HMHB will partner with local organizations to build a network of support for these new families, which evidence supports reduces the likelihood of abuse and neglect. These efforts fall in line with HKHF goals.
- Mountain-Pacific Quality Health Foundation (MPQH) is a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation that strives to be a recognized leader for driving innovation in health care in the states and region it serves. MPQH’s hope is to reduce youth suicide in the greater Helena area, and the HKHF grant is backing the organization’s effort by providing the necessary funding. MPQH’s primary objective for the grant is to increase awareness of mental illness and teen suicide, and the impact among youth using four key strategies:
- Establishment of a local youth task force
- Assessment of suicide and mental health awareness
- Deployment of communication strategies using multiple media that target youth
- Provision of resources, tools and skills to help youth develop resiliency and cope with mental illness, stress and other challenges that are precursors to suicidal behavior