Blue Shield of California Foundation Awards Nearly $6 Million to 33 Organizations

Two Central Valley Groups to Receive $150,000

SAN FRANCISCO, May 25, 2005 – The Blue Shield of California Foundation today announced it will award nearly $6 million to 33 non-profit organizations that further the foundation's goals of increasing health care access, using technology to promote health and preventing domestic violence.

Twenty-nine California organizations will receive more than $4.3 million, while four national groups will receive nearly $1.7 million for California-related projects. Two organizations in Kern and Fresno Counties will receive a combined $150,000 to improve access to health care.

"After reviewing grant requests from around the state, and several from across the nation, we are pleased to provide financial support for these Fresno-area programs that do so much to improve the well-being of the most needy in the region," said Crystal Hayling, president of BSCF.

The Central Valley grants include:

Friends of Mercy Foundation in Kern County will receive $100,000 to provide health insurance for up to 100 children whose parents could not otherwise afford insurance.

Community Medical Foundation will receive $50,000 to support the Ambulatory Care clinics and ensure the provision of primary care, specialty services and preventive education for uninsured and underinsured patients at University Medical Center.

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