Blue Cross Foundation Sets April 30 Deadline for $10 Million Louisiana Challenge Grant Program
“Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana” celebrates the spirit of
the Louisiana Bicentennial.
April 30 is the deadline to submit applications for Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana, a $10 million statewide challenge grant program presented by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation in partnership with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. The challenge grant program aims to reduce the rising obesity rate across Louisiana by providing financial support to innovative programs that promote healthy eating and active living.
There were 112 letters of intent submitted by groups across the state, says Christy Reeves, director of the Foundation. Those groups were then asked to submit full applications. “We tied the deadline date to the Louisiana Bicentennial,” Reeves says. “Louisiana residents are joining together to look back and celebrate the history of our state. The Foundation leadership thought this would be a good time to look forward and improve the state’s future by taking steps to curb obesity in Louisiana.”
Of the 112 submissions, 42 came from the New Orleans area (which includes the Northshore), 22 came from the Baton Rouge region, 14 were from statewide organizations, 11 were from multi-regional groups (but not statewide), nine were from the Monroe region, which includes Alexandria, seven were from the Shreveport area, five were from the Lafayette region and one each were from the Lake Charles area and from a region to be determined.
Other facts about the Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana grant program:
- Since the announcement of the Challenge on Sept. 14, 2011, the Foundation has held eight introductory workshops across the state for interested applicants.
- The Foundation hosted 273 attendees during the workshops, with an average of 34 attendees per workshop.
- These individuals represented 174 unique organizations from across the state of Louisiana, with 17 attending without an affiliation.
- An expert panel will review grant applications from May until June of this year.
- In mid-June, the panel’s recommendations will be presented to the Foundation Board.
About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation is building a healthier Louisiana through community outreach and charitable giving. Its two signature programs are The Angel Award®, an annual statewide recognition program that awards funds to outstanding Louisianians working to improve the quality of life of the state’s children, and Smart Bodies®, an interactive
education program to prevent childhood obesity. In addition, Blue Cross contributes nearly $2 million annually in financial aid to various non-profit organizations throughout the state that contribute to health, education and the overall quality of life in our communities. When we put dollars into Blue Cross communities, it makes Louisiana a better place for everyone. The Foundation is funded solely through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is the oldest and largest Louisiana-based health insurance company. Blue Cross is a private, fully taxed mutual company, owned by policyholders—not shareholders—and governed by a local Board of Directors. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
The company and its subsidiaries provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to more than one out of every four Louisiana residents. With headquarters in Baton Rouge and eight district offices, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana employs more than 1,900 Louisianians who are committed to improving the lives of its customers by providing them with health guidance and affordable access to quality care.
Learn more on the company’s website at www.bcbsla.comor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bluecrossla. Follow Blue Cross on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BCBSLA and CEO Mike Reitz at www.twitter.com/MikeReitzCEO