LOS ANGELES (October 28, 2020) – Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan today announced it is providing $950,000 to two nonprofit organizations that aim to improve health outcomes of the youth in Compton and Antelope Valley by developing innovative programs that support behavioral health and well-being.
The efforts will support the California Surgeon General and Department of Health Care Services’ Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) protocol “Screen, Treat, Heal,” which focuses on creating resources that address childhood abuse, neglect and household challenges that impact health and well-being as youth and adults.
Blue Shield Promise is providing $900,000 to ScaleLA Foundation to fund a two-year initiative to destigmatize challenges associated with behavioral health; help school officials, families and teens identify key indicators to better support youth mental health; and improve care coordination and service delivery for families affected by trauma.
Blue Shield Promise is providing an additional $50,000 to the Center for Youth Wellness (CYW) to work with Blue Shield Promise clinics in Lancaster and Palmdale. CYW is part of a national effort to change pediatric medicine and transform the way society responds to kids with significant adverse childhood experiences and stress. The work is aimed at assisting the staff of the clinics with identifying best practices, increasing screenings and building a referral system for healing and treatment services in the community.
“It is imperative that we find ways to better support youth mental health, particularly during these times when many are dealing with COVID-19, health and social disparities, and wildfires, among other issues,” said Susan Fleischman, M.D., chief medical officer at Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan. “We want to ensure the availability of resources to support mental health and behavioral needs and are thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with these nonprofits. The work they do is directly aligned with our mission that everyone deserves access to quality health care.”
The ScaleLA initiative begins this month with a design thinking challenge for students at Compton Unified School District’s Dominguez High School. In December, a winning solution will be selected by a panel of judges and developed in 2021 with a goal of implementing the program within the Compton community to support the health of students and their families for years to come.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan for this initiative and inspire more youth to leverage entrepreneurship and become agents of change in their communities.” said India Williams, executive director, ScaleLA Foundation. “We’re looking forward to seeing the innovation developed by our teams of mentees and mentors, all designed to increase access to behavioral health and wellness resources to support our South LA community.”
“The prevalence of ACEs and toxic stress is a public health crisis. We are honored to work with Blue Shield and ScaleLA to ensure we are building on and extending the groundbreaking work Los Angeles is already doing,” said Bre Gentile, Ph.D., Director of Product Design at Center for Youth Wellness.
Blue Shield Promise recognizes the importance of working with community-based organizations to prevent diseases and make healthy living options more accessible especially in underserved communities. Promoting healthy living can result in better health for more people as well as improving health outcomes, especially among the most vulnerable populations.
This announcement is the latest example of Blue Shield’s Health Reimagined initiative that uses latest innovations to improve health of individuals and communities; and also supports the health plan’s BlueSky initiative that promotes mental health for California’s middle and high school students.
About Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan is a managed care organization, wholly owned by Blue Shield of California, offering Medi-Cal, Medicare-Medicaid Plans, and Medicare Advantage HMO and Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plans. It is led by healthcare professionals with a “members-first” philosophy and committed to building a quality network of providers and partnering with community organizations for more than 400,000 members. For more information about Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan, please visit www.blueshieldca.com/promise.
About the ScaleLA Foundation
A 501 c(3) non-profit, ScaleLA Foundation’s mission is to inspire purpose in our community by leveraging entrepreneurial thinking to solve for society's greatest challenges. The Foundation’s flagship program, Mentor2Mentor, works with high school students, college students, and executives in a 4-2-1 mentorship ratio to tackle systemic issues within the communities of the participants. In past years, the Foundation has worked to positively impact challenges ranging from foster care to youth homelessness. For more information, visit https://scalela.org.
About Center for Youth Wellness
The Center for Youth Wellness is part of a national effort to revolutionize pediatric medicine and transform the way society responds to kids exposed to significant adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress.
Founded by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris in 2012, we were created to respond to an urgent public health issue: early adversity harms the developing brains and bodies of children. Now led by Gatanya Arnic, an executive with more than fifteen years of experience in leadership development and healthcare, Dr. Burke Harris’s mission continues through the Center’s current work.