August 22, 2023
Alliance for a Healthier Generation Continues Support of Children and Families in South Carolina with Award from BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina Foundation
Award advances Diabetes Free SC initiative to address disparities in diabetes care for children and families in South Carolina
Alliance for a Healthier Generation (Healthier Generation), one of the nation’s preeminent children’s health organizations, today announced a generous grant from the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation to further the goals of its Diabetes Free SC (DFSC) initiative.
In 2020, the Foundation launched DFSC to reduce diabetes-related health disparities affecting African Americans, awarding a significant amount to several organizations, including Healthier Generation. This initial round of funding supported Healthier Generation’s work in pursuit of three goals: to improve pregnancy outcomes in women with diabetes, to reduce lifelong risk of diabetes in children, and to prevent diabetes and its complications in adults. The renewed funding announced today will continue to support Healthier Generation and DFSC’s efforts to address shortcomings in diabetes care for people of color and other underserved demographic groups of South Carolinians.
According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 500,000 adults in South Carolina have been diagnosed with diabetes; an estimated 26,000 more will be diagnosed this year. African American adults have a two times higher death rate from diabetes than white adults and are disproportionately affected by other conditions such as kidney and cardiovascular disease in which diabetes is a significant factor.
Healthier Generation was among the first national children’s health non-profits to formally broaden its mission in 2015 to address whole child health equity. As systemic inequities continue to exacerbate health challenges within marginalized and underserved communities, Healthier Generation’s collaboration with DFSC demonstrates its integrated approach to overall public health for the benefit of child, family, and community well-being.
Healthier Generation recently announced the appointment of its first Chief Science & Program Officer, Dr. Kyle MacDonald. MacDonald’s hire enables the organization to accelerate its strategy of working with community-based programs like DFSC to implement innovative and evidence-informed programmatic approaches to grow and scale impact for focus populations.
“The data around health disparities in communities of color today show that our shared task as health experts and providers is to prioritize total wellness of our schools, families, and communities,” said Kathy Higgins, chief executive officer of Healthier Generation. “This generous gift from the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation provides Healthier Generation further opportunity to act with purpose as we address the immediate health needs of children, families, and communities in South Carolina to build a healthier and happier tomorrow.”
“This joint effort reflects our shared commitment to supporting the health of vulnerable communities,” said Erika Kirby, executive director of the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation. “Together, we can play a meaningful role in reducing disparities for communities in urgent need of diabetes care, and as a result, reduce the incidence of other chronic diseases for generations of South Carolinians to come.”
Learn more about the award at HealthierGeneration.org.
About Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Alliance for a Healthier Generation is a leading children's health organization that advances equitable whole child health. Driven by our passion to ensure that every mind, every body, and every young person is healthy and ready to succeed, our work has reached over 31 million young people across the country. To learn more and help make a difference, visit HealthierGeneration.org and join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation
Headquartered in Columbia, the Foundation is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Its mission is to promote and support healthier South Carolinians, particularly the economically vulnerable, by supporting solutions to address gaps in health care and serving as an agent of change to support innovation and value-added public-private partnerships. The Foundation website can be found at www.bcbsscfoundation.org.