Helena, MT – Research demonstrates that for children to thrive, they require safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. That’s Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies’ specialty, and it’s why Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) is entrusting the national nonprofit organization’s Montana Coalition with a $50,000 Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grant.
“I am thrilled. I am shaky with excitement, and I cannot wait to get started on this work,” Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Executive Director Brie Oliver said after being surprised with the grant Monday, Aug. 14 at BCBSMT’s Helena headquarters. “I know how much women in Montana agree this is a needed project.”
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies aims to improve the health, safety and well-being of Montana families by supporting mothers and babies, ages 0 to 3. With the money from the grant, organizers intend to partner with three communities to better link parents of new infants to supportive community resources to help more children live in safe and nurturing environments. In each of those three communities, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies will partner with local organizations to build a network of support for these new families, which evidence supports reduces the likelihood of abuse and neglect. These efforts by Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies fall in line with HKHF goals.
“Blue Cross and Blue Shield (of Montana) is a huge partner in this for us,” Oliver added. “The fact that they are touching so many lives with health care and their concern for prevention is huge, and we’re just thrilled to go with them on this journey.”
HKHF is a signature program of BCBSMT and part of an ongoing commitment to invest in and partner with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs to reach children and their families in the five following areas: nutrition, physical activity, disease prevention and management, supporting safe environments, and suicide prevention. The $50,000 HKHF grant is one of four BCBSMT awards each year.
“Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies is an incredible organization that provides critical support systems in our communities,” said John Doran, Divisional Vice President of External Affairs and Chief of Staff at BCBSMT. “They provide the stable foundation that young mothers and their babies need to live a healthier, happier life.”
Officials with Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies say the grant will round out the organization’s work that focuses on prevention of childhood maltreatment and parental substance abuse by improving the screening and treatment of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, while connecting new parents to community and support resources.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSMT is the largest and longest-standing statewide, customer-owned health insurer and full-service health benefits administrator in Montana. BCBSMT believes that Montana consumers and employers deserve the best of both worlds — access to quality, cost-effective health care and superior customer service from a company that focuses solely on members. BCBSMT has provided high-quality health insurance plans and administrative services to Montanans for nearly 77 years. BCBSMT is committed to ensuring its members — no matter where they are on the health spectrum — achieve maximum health. BCBSMT’s mission is to stand with its members in sickness and in health. BCBSMT’s website is www.bcbsmt.com.
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies
Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies, The Montana Coalition, Inc. (HMHB) was founded in 1984 by a pediatrician and a group of health professionals. It was based on the national Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies model and has worked for over 30 years to improve maternal and child health in Montana. Throughout the years, HMHB has developed allied organizations such as the Montana Children’s Alliance, The Montana Council for Maternal and Child Health, and more recently the Montana Early Childhood Coalition. HMHB is widely known throughout Montana as the advocacy voice for mothers and infants. HMHB was created to be the leading state-wide non-profit to improve pregnancy and early childhood outcomes and it remains in that role, as the sole non-profit with a zero (includes pregnancy) to three focus in Montana. HMHB’s website is hmhb-mt.org.