Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Awards 2015 Community Health Grant to Crossroads – YMCA Collaboration

PROVIDENCE, RI – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is awarding one of six 2015 BlueAngel Community Health Grants (BACHG) toward developing a collaboration between Crossroads Rhode Island and the YMCA Greater Providence and West Bay branches. The $38,000 grant will provide yearlong exercise and nutrition programming to homeless children at the Crossroads Providence Family Shelter, and also to youth residents at the Kingstown Crossings complex. Approximately 300 children and 200 parents will participate.

The Crossroads-YMCA partnership aims to reduce childhood and adolescent obesity by educating these youth and their parents about nutrition and healthy food choices and wellness, while also improving confidence and body image. The program will focus on collaborative activities and offer additional age-appropriate exercise sessions, using XBOX exercise games, field trips to indoor exercise areas and/or parks, and special health-focused activities that promote physical activity and good nutrition. The program’s long-term goals include improving health during the developmental years as well as reducing the risk of obesity-related health issues, such as type II diabetes, to ultimately help reduce healthcare spending.

The costs of childhood obesity are real: if the average body mass index in Rhode Island was reduced by five percent it could lead to health care savings of more than $850 million in 10 years and $2 billion in 20 years. Healthcare stakeholders and nonprofits are working together to create healthier environments for Rhode Island’s children in an effort to reduce the impact of the epidemic. For the second year in a row, the BlueAngel Community Health Grant program will focus on this critical issue. This year, six new grants and three transitional grants totaling $319,000 will be awarded to 2014 BACHG recipients.

“The BACHG program continues to make a positive impact in communities around the state,” said Michele Lederberg, chief administrative officer and general counsel for BCBSRI. “The partnership between Crossroads Rhode Island and the YMCA is an example of the kind of collaboration and shared commitment to wellness that makes a real difference in the lives of Rhode Islanders. We are very proud to support this program’s development.”

The mission of Crossroads Rhode Island is to help homeless or at-risk individuals and families secure stable homes. Those we serve achieve this by engaging in our range of services including housing, basic needs, shelter, case management, referrals, and education and employment services.

The YMCA is an association of people of all ages, ethnic origins, religious affiliations and socio-economic levels that works to significantly improve and positively influence the quality of life and social well-being for its members, their families and the community.

The BACHG program awards local organizations that teach and support healthy habits, from better nutrition to increased physical activity. BCBSRI accepts and reviews proposals for the BACHG program once a year. Each letter of intent received is reviewed to determine compliance with eligibility and funding priorities. Grant award winners were notified in December 2014 with funding to begin in January 2015.

About the BACHG Program
The BACHG program was launched in 2002 and has touched the lives of more than 240,000 people in the state. The program is a key component in BCBSRI’s vision of enhancing the quality of life for Rhode Islanders by increasing the quality of and access to healthcare services. The BACHGs are made possible by the BCBSRI Community Health Fund, a corporate donor-advised fund of The Rhode Island Foundation.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state’s leading health insurer and covers more than 550,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI, and like us on Facebook at

Leave a comment

Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

previous arrow
next arrow