Blue Shield of California Foundation Awards $5.7 Million to Nonprofits Statewide

Nearly $600,000 Benefits Three San Diego Area Organizations

San Francisco, December 15, 2005 – The Blue Shield of California Foundation today announced grants of $5.7 million to nonprofit organizations that provide health-related services to the state's most vulnerable residents. Of the grants, nearly $600,000 will go to three organizations in San Diego County.

These grants bring the foundation's giving to $30 million in 2005, making it one of the leading healthcare grantmakers in California.

"The Blue Shield of California Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that strengthen the safety net for our state's most vulnerable residents while we work toward a goal of affordable, quality health care for all Californians," said Crystal Hayling, president of Blue Shield of California Foundation.

The San Diego County grants include:

$313,400 to the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation to build a secure electronic messaging system that will help uninsured patients qualify for some form of health coverage by channeling them to community clinics rather than emergency rooms.

$200,000 to San Diegans for Healthcare Coverage, a group attempting to expand health coverage to uninsured low-income workers through job-based coverage and the integration of private and public funding.

$76,922 to License to Freedom, a program designed to provide driver's education training as part of domestic violence services for immigrant and refugee women in the San Diego area.

"These nonprofit organizations exemplify the foundation's goals of preventing domestic violence, ensuring access to health care, and improving the delivery of health care through advances in medical and information technology," Hayling said.

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