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Northwest Minnesota Foundation, NWICDC receive Blue Cross Blue Shield grants

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation recently awarded $3.4 million in grants to 21 nonprofit organizations across Minnesota, including the Northwest Minnesota Foundation and Northwest Indian Community Development Center of Bemidji.

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation recently awarded $3.4 million in grants to 21 nonprofit organizations across Minnesota, including the Northwest Minnesota Foundation and Northwest Indian Community Development Center of Bemidji.

According to the Blue Cross Minnesota Foundation website, the Northwest Minnesota Foundation received a $200,000 Healthy Start grant that will be used, “(to provide) tools to address prejudice, stereotyping and bias for early educators in 12 counties in northwestern Minnesota and two tribal nations with the goal of retaining providers and reducing or eliminating early childhood expulsions — a critical racial equity issue.

“The overarching goal of the program is to help the youngest citizens realize a world free of prejudice, stereotypes and exclusion. This project is part of a larger initiative that proposes a multi-pronged approach of diverse partners engaged together to try to make meaningful and systemic changes toward a more equitable, inclusive community.”

The Northwest Indian Community Development Center’s Access to Coverage grant of $100,000, “will support NWICDC’s ongoing efforts to address health equity through health coverage outreach, application and enrollment assistance for low-income individuals and families.

“NWICDC will also use community voice to examine larger-scale health equity systems analysis, partnership development and planning that address all the social determinants of health to create sustainable and regenerative solutions to health equity,” the website states.

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“These grants address a critical need,” Foundation President Carolyn Link said in a release. “We are proud to partner with our grantees in prioritizing early care and education in the communities we serve — efforts that will benefit all Minnesota children and the broader health system.”

The full list of grant recipients can be found at www.bluecrossmnfoundation.org.

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