Where is the Blue Shield of California Foundation Putting Its Money?

One of California’s most powerful health funders just announced another $6.3 million in grants. This is a significant boost from Q4 2014, which saw a distribution of $4.9 million in grants. Curious to know who it is and where all this money’s going?

It probably comes as no big surprise that the funder behind this large sum is the Blue Shield of California Foundation. And the most impressive of these grants went to the Tides Center, a $3.25 million award to support the adoption of patient care innovations in California's healthcare safety net, thereby improving the ability of providers to deliver high-value care and enhance patient experience and engagement through coaching and tech assistance.

However, the rest of Blue Shield’s Q1 grantmaking was a bit more modest. Other recent health care and coverage grants fell between $100,000 and $500,000, and recent grantees included the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network and the Insure the Uninsured Project.

Also notable is that the foundation views domestic violence as a standard element of whole-person care, not as an entirely separate grantmaking purpose. Some recent domestic violence grantees include the Prevention Institute and the Full Frame Initiative, and grant amounts were between $80,000 and $400,000.  

Veterans’ causes still see some support from the Blue Shield Foundation of California, but on a smaller scale. Veteran grants sometimes have a more nationwide focus, but the University of Southern California did receive a $200,000 grant for backbone support for the Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative that involves over 400 organizations for military families.

Three new board members joined the team this quarter as well, breathing some new life into the grant decision making processes for 2015. Kim Belshé comes from the First 5 LA, Douglas Busch comes from Care Innovations, a joint venture of Intel and GE, and Michael Rodriguez is a professor and vice chair of family medicine at UCLA.

For a listing of areas for which the foundation is currently accepting letters of inquiry in the upcoming grant cycle, check out the What We Fund page. Generally speaking, Blue Shield is looking for the newest grantees relevant to the health care safety net, integrating health care and domestic violence services, and improving the domestic violence survivor experience.

Browse through the recent foundation blog entries (usually updated once or twice a month) to see what issues the staff and leadership are gravitating to and contact the grants and contracts administrator, Jessica Gau, jessica.gau@blueshieldcafoundation.org with any of your questions not answered on the FAQ page.