Among the grants recently awarded by the Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania was a grant supporting healthy children.

Pocono Services for Families and Children, the leading Head Start child care provider in Monroe County, will use a $6,500 Foundation grant to deliver health literacy training to 160 low-income parents and caregivers at four Head Start locations across the county. Nationwide, data shows families trained in health literacy experience a marked decrease in emergency room and clinic visits and miss fewer school and work days. Topics include At-Home Treatment of Common Childhood Illnesses, Reading Prescription Labels, Oral Health, Obesity Prevention, Asthma, and Health Promotion.

In Carbon County, where 14 percent of all residents are uninsured, Blue Mountain Health System (BMHS) was awarded a grant to assess care for the uninsured. BMHS will use $11,925 in Blue Ribbon Foundation funds to expand its digital mammography and diagnostic ultrasound screening program to include an additional 85 un- and underinsured women referred by local physicians in the coming year. Less than three percent of the 4,300 mammograms provided by BMHS in 2009 were for un- and underinsured women.

Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania established its private, nonprofit Blue Ribbon Foundation in 2002 to invest in health education and prevention initiatives that produce measurable health improvements and help manage long term health costs for the residents of northeastern and north central Pennsylvania.