Since its inception in 2001, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation has awarded approximately $36 million in grants to over 300 community based organizations, including $670,000 through the Catalyst Fund.
As clients at Ipswich's Birth to Three Family Center (B3), young parents participate in Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP), an eight-week course focused on child development, nutrition, literacy, health, and other specialized topics. Developing strong parents and healthy families through STEP is one way B3 fulfills its mission to increase the potential of children.
In 2009, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation was proud to award B3 with a Catalyst Grant focused on postpartum depression. The grant will fund a community-based pilot program to identify and assist families in the delivery of maternal-infant mental health (MIMH) services. Administered in partnership with Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the pilot will increase program quality and expand access to maternal mental health care.
The support of healthy families on the North Shore is one of 37 grants provided by the Catalyst Fund. Funded entirely by employee donations, the Fund is administered by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation and supports their mission to expand health care coverage and reduce barriers to care. The Foundation, a contemporary expression of our historic mission to make health care affordable for everyone, is one of the largest private health philanthropies in New England. It operates independently from the company to develop measurable and sustainable solutions that benefit uninsured, vulnerable, and low-income individuals and families.
A committee of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts' associates guides the competitive grant process and awards excellence and sustainability. In 2009, the Catalyst Fund supported a myriad of critical needs, including the expansion of the wellness program at Food for the World in Lawrence, the development of a strategic plan for Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires in Great Barrington, and an automated electronic defibrillator for the Boys & Girls Club in Marshfield.