Premera Blue Cross Commits $2.3 Million to Expand Access to Behavioral Health, Housing Solutions in Washington, Alaska

The health plan’s Social Impact program invested $6.9 million in organizations in 2021 and is accepting new grant applications

Mountlake Terrace, Wash., May 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Premera Blue Cross through its Social Impact program today announced $2.3 million in grants and sponsorships made to 26 organizations in Washington and Alaska. Grant recipients include partners focused on improving access to behavioral health care, addressing health inequities, and supporting programs related to the intersection of homelessness and behavioral health.

This $2.3 million commitment builds on the company’s investments in 2021, totaling $6.9 million to organizations focused on behavioral health, homelessness, rural health, and health equity.

“Since 2017, Premera has worked with and through our partners to create deep, and meaningful changes,” Paul Hollie, head of Premera Social Impact. “There are no easy solutions to these incredibly complex problems, which is why we collaborate with organizations that are coming up with new and creative solutions to tackle the root cause of these issues. Together, we are reaching and supporting care services for the people and places that need it the most.”

Among the grant recipients are:

  • Nome Community Center in Alaska will receive $125,000 to support HomePlate, a 15-unit housing complex providing a safe place for Nome’s most vulnerable people who are chronically homeless. HomePlate will also offer residents a health care center and on-site behavioral health care services. In addition, Bethel Community Services Foundation in Alaska will receive $150,000 to build permanent supportive housing to keep people experiencing chronic homelessness stably housed and connected to supportive services.
  • NW Children's Foundation (NWCF) in Seattle will receive $125,000 to help address the significant health inequities and mental health concerns impacting children, particularly those from historically underserved communities. Every year, NWCF brings together schools, nonprofits, researchers, healthcare providers, therapists, judges, law enforcement, and more for a forum focused on delivering curriculum related to ending the intergenerational cycle of child abuse, neglect, and trauma. This grant will help NWCF broaden the reach of this educational programming and make it more accessible through online interactive learning modules. 

  • Progress House Clubhouse in Pierce County, Wash., will receive a grant for $50,000 to establish a more visible and accessible presence in neighborhoods where homelessness, mental illness, and racial and economic inequities are most acute. According to the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, 5 percent of adults in Pierce County report having a serious mental health illness compared to 3 percent of adults statewide, yet the ratio of mental health providers to residents in Pierce County is lower than the statewide average. Progress House Clubhouse’s efforts will help them connect more reliably with people experiencing homelessness in Tacoma and offer mental health services and support.

  • Transitions in Spokane, Wash., will receive a $175,000 grant to provide behavioral health support to more than 400 women visiting Transitions Women's Hearth and living at their transitional and permanent supportive housing campuses, which house individuals who have experienced poverty, trauma or homelessness. By offering whole-person care with consistent access to behavioral health services, Transitions aims to help their participants avoid homelessness and remain engaged with the organization’s programming and services.

  • WA Therapy Fund Foundation will receive $50,000, which will help support their goal of providing 200 free therapy sessions to more than 60 people in the Black community in Snohomish, Pierce, and King Counties. According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, Black adults living below the poverty line are more than twice as likely to report serious psychological distress than those with more financial security. The WA Therapy Fund Foundation works to eliminate long-standing systemic barriers to healing by providing free therapeutic services to those in the Black community who are in need.

 Additional grants, which support the organization’s efforts to build or improve long-term programs, include:

  • Blue Mountain Heart to Heart, Walla Walla County, Wash., $50,000
  • Community Foundation of Snohomish County, Snohomish County, Wash., $100,000
  • Friends of Youth, King County, Wash., $125,000
  • Hands On Children’s Museum, Thurston County, Wash., $20,000
  • Interfaith Works, Thurston County, Wash., $30,000
  • Kids Discovery Museum, Kitsap County, Wash., $25,000
  • Providence Alaska Foundation, Anchorage Borough, Alaska, $15,000
  • The Alaska Community Foundation, Anchorage Borough, Alaska, $750,000
  • The Friendship Circle of Washington, King County, Wash., $20,000
  • The Maternal Coalition, King County, Wash., $75,000
  • The Salvation Army, King County, Wash., $25,000
  • Tubman Center for Health & Freedom, King County, Wash., $200,000
  • YES of Pend Oreille County, Pend Orielle County, Wash., $125,000

Sponsorships, which fund events or short-term projects, include:

  • Crisis Connections, King County, Wash., $27,000
  • El Centro De La Raza, King County, Wash., $15,000
  • Foundation for Edmonds School District, Snohomish County, Wash., $10,000
  • Leadership Snohomish County, Snohomish County, Wash., $20,000
  • Rainier Scholars, Snohomish County, Wash., $20,000
  • The Goodtimes Project, King County, Wash., $10,000
  • Treehouse, King County, Wash., $10,000

Premera also released their annual Social Impact report today. In 2021, Premera committed $6.9 million to 86 organizations, bringing the program’s total community investments to $77 million. Read more about the company’s untraditional approach to giving and the strides partner organizations are making in improving the health of communities in Washington and Alaska.

Premera Social Impact is currently accepting applications from other 501(c)(3) community organizations. Learn more about grantmaking on its website.

About Premera Blue Cross
Premera Blue Cross, a not-for-profit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association based in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., is a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, providing comprehensive health benefits and tailored services to more than 2.6 million people, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies. For more information, visit


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