Premera Awards $3.3 Million in Community Grants Focusing on Behavioral Health

  • Mountlake Terrace, Wash. — (December 17, 2018) — Premera Blue Cross through its Premera Social Impact program today announced more than $3.3 million in grants made to 18 nonprofit organizations across Washington.

    “These programs are among the leaders in our area in making a difference in the lives of individuals and families,” said Paul Hollie, who leads Premera Social Impact. “They, like us, are working toward a healthier community through therapy, education and safe, supportive housing.”

    Premera Social Impact, which launched in 2017, focuses on awarding grants to organizations that support behavioral health solutions, particularly in underserved communities.

    Grants were made to the following organizations:

    Big Brothers, Big Sisters Puget Sound, in Seattle, will receive $150,000 over two years to build connections to specific trauma-affected communities by providing access to high-quality mentoring services

    Byrd Barr Place, in Seattle, will receive $40,000 to fund the African American Equity in Health Initiative. This project seeks to deepen understanding of the ways in which health disparities manifest in people’s daily experiences through a combination of individual interviews, focus groups and online surveys.

    Chief Seattle Club, in Seattle, will receive $250,000 to support their capital campaign and wraparound services. Located in the heart of Seattle’s Pioneer Square, the Club is developing a landmark project to honor the rich native heritage and extended history of the Coast Salish people. Through authentic design and expression, each space will be designed to support the unique physical, cultural and spiritual needs of the urban Native community.

    Children’s Center, in Vancouver, will receive $15,000 to embed a part-time mental health therapist in the Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit to address untreated mental health challenges of victims and their children.

    Community Resilience Initiative (CRI), in Walla Walla, will receive $15,000 to translate all curriculum and product materials of their trauma-informed care training into high quality Spanish. The materials, curriculum and trainings will address health disparities by race, socioeconomic status and geography.

    Compass Health, in Everett, will receive $75,000 to support the Bailey GROWTH Center. The facility provides a safe, welcoming environment where individuals with behavioral health disorders can work on their personal recovery goals.

    Downtown Emergency Services Center, in Seattle, will receive $100,000 to integrate clients’ medical data toward making fully integrated behavioral and medical healthcare accessible by vulnerable populations.

    Hopelink, in Redmond, will receive $822,500 to complete Phase I of the “Campaign for Lasting Change.” This investment will help increase impact in the community with the renovation of the Kenmore Place emergency shelter for families experiencing homelessness and addition of two critical behavioral health resources to the broad spectrum of program initiatives.

    Housing Hope, in Everett, will receive $250,000 to develop HopeWorks Station II. The goal is to extend Housing Hope’s 30 years of cutting-edge program development with 72 housing units to serve homeless veterans, youth and families with disabling addictions and mental health challenges.

    Imagine Housing, in Kirkland, will receive $75,000 to support the Mental & Behavioral Health Services Pilot for Affordable Housing Residents program. Imagine Housing’s goal is to improve the general health outcomes and housing stability of the low-income community they serve, especially those who have recently exited or experienced homelessness. This grant would create an onsite program for direct service provision as well as train staff to recognize and more appropriately refer behavioral health problems.

    Kent Youth and Family Services, in Kent, will receive $50,000 to support their work in adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and behavioral health. The core components of the interventions are all designed to address specific developmentally appropriate needs of infants, toddlers, children, teens and young adults suffering with ACEs and ACEs-related issues using a culturally competent approach.

    Lifeline Connections, in Vancouver, will receive $85,000 to support Camp Mariposa, a free transformational weekend camp for children ages 9 to12 who are living with substance use disorder (SUD) in their families. The primary goal is to give these children the knowledge, tools and coping skills to prevent them from developing an SUD of their own.

    Lutheran Community Services Northwest, in Vancouver, will receive $12,650 to begin offering mental health services through psychoeducational outreach groups called Adjustment Support Groups to the Russian-speaking community. The groups aim to increase refugees’ participation in mental health services by decreasing stigma, providing a safe and nonthreatening access point, and helping refugees and immigrants understand the benefits of mental health services.

    Renton Family Community Services (RAYS), in Renton, will receive $50,000 to support behavioral health services and address the health and academic disparities that create disproportionately lower quality of life and educational attainment among young people of color and low-income households in south King County.

    Snoqualmie Valley Community Network, in Carnation, will receive $75,000 to expand the capacity of those working and living in the Snoqualmie Valley related to ACEs, trauma-informed best practices, and building resilience. This project is a multi-pronged approach designed to reach as many of the more than 26,875 residents of the Snoqualmie Valley. The grant will address the impacts of childhood trauma with strategies designed to help adults move through their trauma.

    United Way of Snohomish County (UWSC), in Everett, will receive $1,000,000 over three years to improve adult, child and family well-being; improve system coordination and integration of cross-sector partners to reduce health disparities and redundancy of services; and increase the ability of UWSC to be nimble and adaptive in our community to effectively address complex social problems through their CORE (Creating Open Roads to Equity) initiative.

    YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish, in Seattle, will receive $250,000 over two years to support the YWCA’s Health Care Access (HCA) program, which works to increase health equity for those women furthest from opportunity and stability by addressing health disparities rooted in race, income and gender.

    YWCA Spokane, in Spokane, will receive $74,300 to train trauma-informed therapists, jointly engage non-abusing parents and children to begin breaking down the intergenerational cycle of abuse and violence, build a trauma-informed therapeutic environment, and become more data-informed

    To learn more about Premera Social Impact, read the company’s community giving report.

    About Premera Blue Cross

    Premera Blue Cross, a not-for-profit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association based in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., is a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, providing comprehensive health benefits and tailored services to approximately 2 million people, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies.

    Media contact

    Bo Jungmayer
    Premera Blue Cross