Blue Shield of California Foundation Awards More Than $6.7 Million to Organizations Throughout California

Six San Fernando Valley Community Clinics, Shelters and Domestic Violence Prevention Programs Receive $89,600

San Fernando Valley, October 26, 2004 – Continuing its commitment to the health and well-being of all Californians, the Blue Shield of California Foundation (BSCF) has awarded more than $6.7 million in grants to 304 organizations throughout the state that exemplify the foundation's goals of preventing domestic violence and increasing health care access.

The foundation recently awarded a total of $89,600 to six organizations in the San Fernando Valley cities of San Fernando, Arleta, Burbank, Castaic and Tarzana.

The recent grants are part of the $24 million the foundation expects to award to community organizations in 2004, compared with $8 million in grants disbursed in 2003. Grantees include programs aimed at ending intimate partner and family violence and support for community clinics that serve the uninsured populations in our state.

"We're proud to support so many quality programs and organizations that have such a profound impact on the health of our communities," said Crystal Hayling, president of BSCF. "With the ranks of the uninsured on the rise and domestic violence impacting as many as three in 10 women, these organizations are in the forefront of their communities, providing much-needed services. We commend them."

The foundation awarded more than $1 million to 101 domestic violence shelters throughout the state and $902,000 to 17 organizations and programs statewide that combat domestic violence, including one San Fernando Valley organization. The Valley Family Center in San Fernando received a $10,000 grant to help in its mission of helping victims of domestic abuse.

"This grant makes it possible to provide services to women with no means of getting help elsewhere," said Sister Carmel Somers, administrator of the center. "Most of the women and their children are totally bereft. We help empower these women to move on and teach them how to navigate the system and become self-sufficient."

In addition to supporting community-based groups and programs that target domestic abuse, the Blue Shield of California Foundation operates innovative training and education programs for California employers, health care workers and dental professionals, enlisting their aid in identifying cases of intimate partner abuse and connecting those affected with much-needed help. The Blue Shield Against Violence employer outreach program offers free consultation and training to any California employer that requests it. The program has been in existence since 1996 and has provided training for more than 100 employers, including Macy's West, Marriott International and the San Francisco Giants.

"While October is domestic violence awareness month, it's important to keep this critical health and social issue in mind all year long," said Marianne Balin, manager of the Blue Shield Against Violence program. "The shelters and other organizations we support see the effects of intimate partner and family violence daily. It's shocking to know how common such abuse is."

The bulk of the recent grants - nearly $4.6 million - went to 182 community health clinics and other organizations in 42 counties that deliver health care to the state's low income and uninsured populations. The five San Fernando Valley organizations in this group received $79,600. The grants are:

$30,000 to Arleta's El Proyecto del Barrio, a nonprofit organization that provides bilingual, bicultural community services to primarily Latino and economically disadvantaged youths and adults in the San Fernando Valley. With help from BSCF grant the organization was able to reopen a clinic in the San Gabriel Valley city of Azuza that had been forced to close, leaving the people in that community with no services.

$22,200 to the Northeast Valley Health Corporation, a community health center in San Fernando that provides health care services in comprehensive primary care centers, on school campuses, in homeless shelters and in community-based locations in areas of high need.

$10,000 to the Visiting Nurse Community Services in Burbank. This organization operates the Care-A-Van Health mobile clinic.

$10,000 to Castaic's Samuel Dixon Family Health Center, Inc., which provides health care services to those without health insurance.

$7,400 to Tarzana Treatment Centers, Inc., a full-service behavioral healthcare organization that provides substance abuse and mental health treatment to adults and youths. The non-profit, community-based organization operates a psychiatric hospital, residential and outpatient treatment centers and family medical clinics.

"One in five California residents lacks basic health care coverage," said Tanir Ami, program officer for BSCF's Center for Healthcare Access. "Our goal is to find solutions to the problem of the uninsured, which affects not only individuals, but our communities as a whole. Our vision is a community where every Californian has access to high quality, cost-effective health care. The programs and organizations we support help further that vision."

Blue Shield of California Foundation was formed by Blue Shield of California, a not forprofit corporation with more than 3.2 million members, 4,300 employees and 20 offices throughout California. The Blue Shield of California Foundation provides charitable contributions, conducts research and supports programs with an emphasis on domestic violence prevention, medical technology assessment and reducing the number of uninsured. For more information, visit the Blue Shield of California Web site at or the Foundation at