Blue Shield of California Foundation Awards $6.3 Million to Promote Health Care Access and Quality

$63,000 Will Fund Health Coverage for 50 San Luis Obispo County Children

San Francisco, December 19, 2006 – As many as 50 children in San Luis Obispo County will receive health care coverage funded by a $63,000 Blue Shield of California Foundation grant to support the county’s Healthy Kids program, the nonprofit organization announced today.

The grant will go to the Children’s Health Initiative of San Luis Obispo. It is just part of nearly $6.3 million in grants to 14 nonprofit organizations, with the majority of funding being used to provide health care coverage for more than 5,000 children. In addition to expanding access to health coverage, the foundation also works to promote the use of medical technology to increase the quality of care, as well as to end domestic violence.

"While we seek the broader goal of universal health coverage, we are committed to continuing our premium support for uninsured children," said Crystal Hayling, president of Blue Shield of California Foundation. "In the wake of the Proposition 86 defeat, it is critical that Children’s Health Initiative (CHI) remains a vital lifeline in California’s communities, providing health care access for kids."

The CHI Healthy Kids program provides health care coverage for low-income children up to age 18, who are not eligible for existing government programs.

With today’s announcement, BSCF’s grant-making total rises to $27.1 million for the year. Additionally, the foundation estimates over $1 million in program activities during 2006 to support its strategic goals – including public education materials, forums and convenings, and commissioned research.

Blue Shield of California Foundation is one of the largest health care grant-making organizations in California. The foundation was formed by Blue Shield of California, a not-for-profit corporation with more than 3.2 million members, 4,300 employees and 20 offices throughout California. For more information, visit the Blue Shield of California website at or the foundation at