CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — In its third and final cycle of funding for 2005, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation awarded $483,000 in grants to help the state’s uninsured, bringing total giving to $1.2 million for the foundation’s first year of outreach.

The uninsured funding focus provided help to 10 volunteer-based health centers, which deliver direct care at free or reduced costs to the state’s under- and uninsured. The 10 clinics included Church Health Center of Memphis, Inc., Faith Family Medical Clinic (Nashville), Helping Hands Clinic (Morristown), InterFaith Health Clinic (Knoxville), Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, Inc. (Sevierville), NAMI Tennessee (Nashville), Partners for Healing (Tullahoma), Salvus Center, Inc. (Gallatin), Siloam Family Health Center (Nashville), and Volunteers In Medicine, Chattanooga, Inc.

“Each of these centers sought our help to expand their existing services as well as add new health care support,” said Beverly Cosley, manager of the Tennessee Health Foundation. “As the number of uninsured Tennesseans grows—including potential TennCare disenrollments—these clinics will struggle to meet the increased demand. It’s our hope that these grants will provide them the necessary resources to help those most in need.”

In total, the clinics provide annual care to more than 60,000 of the estimated 828,000 uninsured Tennesseans. Nationwide that figure was 45.8 million people in 2004, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Foundation funding will support a variety of efforts including medical, dental and eye care, education programs, counseling, staff additions and expanded operating hours.

The final cycle of Tennessee Health Foundation grants complemented earlier efforts of the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust, which hosted the first annual Uninsured Best Practices Forum in Memphis during April 2005. Many of the10 volunteer health clinic grantees sent representatives to this free and informative event where nearly 100 statewide participants came together to explore options and seek solutions for the uninsured.

Tennessee Health Foundation information and applications for 2006 grants may be found at www.bcbst.com under the community relations link.

About Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc.

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc. (THF), was established in December, 2003 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation organized to promote the philanthropic mission of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. THFawards grants focused on high-impact initiatives across the state, which promote healthy lifestyle choices and help control health care costs for all Tennessee residents. Working with civic and economic partners, THF is dedicated to the support of research, innovative programs and creative approaches to improve the health and quality of life of Tennesseans for generations to come.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.