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Innovation in the Health Care System Award Recipients!

Florida Blue Foundation awards $9 million in health care grants to nonprofits statewide

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Blue Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the state’s leading health insurance company, today announced more than $9 million in grants to 31 nonprofits statewide. Programs receiving grants demonstrate innovation in the health care system, address consumer health, focus on the quality of patient care or address issues of opioid and substance abuse.

Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center was awarded the Florida Blue Innovation in the Health Care system grant for “C.A.R.E (Communication Access for Restricted Elders)”. The program provides seniors, particularly ones that are homebound or have restricted means, with hearing healthcare. The program also provides additional benefits, such as transportation arrangements. One of the greatest components of this program is the implementation of “aural rehabilitation” courses, which allow seniors to not only learn how to use their hearing devices, but socialize with others that are experiencing the same challenges. “Communication is more important than others and many seniors in our community have limited ways to interact with others,” says the Center’s Communications Director, Lauren Giordano. “C.A.R.E. not only helps them hear better, but it gives them the opportunity for socialization and sharing experiences. We have already seen great success with the program.”

Grants cover a three-to four-year period to allow programs time to develop and to continue working with their clients. Examples of the types of programs that earned grants include home-based care for frail seniors; mobile care in areas devastated by Hurricane Michael; using texts to deliver crisis counseling services to youth; using virtual reality to help youth address stressors in a safe space; health literacy in multiple languages; and mental health first aid training for a variety of community resources.

“We are increasingly encouraged by the number of nonprofits that are reaching individuals and families across the state even in some of the most rural areas,” said Florida Blue Foundation Vice President Susan Towler. “A trend we see is an increase in meeting people where they are and providing needed health care services to those who may otherwise not receive them because of a lack of transportation and other issues facing our most vulnerable. These programs will ensure that thousands of citizens will be served.”

The 31 grants will aid programs across the state, with 10 awarded to those in South Florida, 10 in North Florida, six awarded to Central Florida programs and five to those on the West Coast of the state.

About Florida Blue Foundation
Florida Blue Foundation enables healthy communities by making grants, building coalitions and rewarding best practices. More than three million people in Florida have received direct health services as a result of grants made to nonprofit organizations since our founding in 2001. Florida Blue Foundation is a trade name of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation, Inc., an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.