Premera Blue Cross Partners with Community Groups to Address Behavioral Health

  • Company Announces First Round of Social Impact Grants

    Mountlake Terrace, Wash. — (June 28, 2017) — Premera Blue Cross today announced more than $1 million in grants made to seven non-profit groups in Washington and Alaska. The grants are the inaugural pledges made from Premera's new Social Impact Program, which launched this year to focus on giving to organizations that support behavioral health solutions, particularly in underserved communities. The first recipients of Premera's Social Impact Grants are:

    • Hopelink will receive $200,000 to launch a multi-year agency wide initiative to educate and support the work of its staff and core volunteers. The funds will be used to bring in the expertise required to expand the agency's knowledge and understanding of adverse childhood experiences in order to deepen its relationship with clients who are working to exit poverty.
    • Sound Mental Health of Seattle will receive $150,000 to support the Children's Domestic Violence Response Team (CDVRT), a specialized, cross system collaborative program developed to meet the unique needs of children and survivors impacted by domestic violence.
    • Catholic Charities of Spokane will receive $175,000 to support the Rising Strong program for families at risk of child neglect due to alcohol and substance use disorder.
    • Sunshine Community Health Center of Talkeetna, AK will receive $95,500 to expand and fully integrate behavioral health services into primary care and embed these services in area public schools in the Mat-Su borough of Alaska.
    • NeighborCare Health of Seattle will receive $175,000 to support implementation of partnership in the state Health Care Authority's Health Homes Program.
    • YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish will receive $80,000 to develop infrastructure for a mental health program model in Snohomish County.
    • United Way of Snohomish County will receive $250,000 to support their CORE: Creating Open Roads to Equity Impact work. This program focuses on the well-being of both the child and the adults in their lives together.

    “There is an increased understanding of the connection between overall physical health and behavioral health,” said Steve Kipp, VP Corporate Communications for Premera. “It's our goal as a healthcare provider to make healthcare work better for our customers and for our community. Part of that includes treating the whole person with knowledge and support for external factors that can place hurdles on the road to good health.”

    Data from recent national health indices and other community health assessments show health conditions including depression, anxiety, mood disorder, and substance abuse are common areas of concern. These conditions are nearly universal experiences of individuals with behavioral health problems, with the abuse, in many cases, occurring in childhood.

    Creating community partnerships with non-profit groups addressing these concerns will help Premera in its overall effort to help make healthcare work better.

    About Premera Blue Cross

    Premera Blue Cross is a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, providing comprehensive health benefits and tailored services to approximately 1.9 million people, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies. The company offers innovative health and wellness solutions focused on quality outcomes for patients and controlling costs. Premera Blue Cross, which has operated in Washington since 1933, is a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

    Premera Blue Cross is a member of a family of companies based in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., providing health, life, vision, dental, stop-loss, disability, workforce wellness, and other related products and services. The family of companies employs over 3,600 people and provides healthcare coverage and related services to over 2.1 million members.