BCBSND Caring Foundation Awards 2024 spring SPARK Grant Recipients totaling $130,000

Strengthen ND SPARK winner

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Caring Foundation has awarded the spring strengthening people, access, resources and knowledge (SPARK) grants for 2024. SPARK grants are awarded to community-based initiatives that support health and well-being in local communities, reflect community priorities and demonstrate the ability to create lasting change.

BCBSND congratulates the following 2024 spring SPARK grant recipients who successfully demonstrated innovation, sustainability and the opportunity to create lasting change in their communities.

F5 Project: Funds will promote recovery by providing culturally rooted programs within the James River Correctional Center to reduce recidivism among North Dakota’s Indigenous population.

The Akisni Warrior Lodge Curriculum was created to support the Indigenous population. The new curriculum is centered around building and healing relationships through training intensives and learning circles.

F5 Project SPARK Winner

Mountrail County Medical Center: Funding will be used to partner with Stanley Ambulance Service to initiate clinically-guided, prehospital care via virtual care screens in the back of the ambulances.

This virtual care option will allow for peer-to-peer emergency support for medical professionals to offer the best quality of care, especially for those in rural communities in need of access.

Mountrail County Medical Center SPARK Winner

TNT Kids Fitness: Funds will allow TNT to implement ABLE in School programming into more schools across North Dakota. The ABLE in School curriculum provides educators and school districts resources to create physical education spaces for all abilities.

ABLE in School encourages teachers to adapt physical education by using a peer-to-peer model to build strong bonds among unlikely student groups that go beyond the gym. The functional fitness element allows for enhancement of physical, social and emotional well-being.

TNT Fitness SPARK Winner

Strengthen ND: Funds will enable the expansion of the SNAP Double Up Dakota Bucks program to promote healthy eating and food accessibility throughout North Dakota.

The SNAP Double Up Dakota Bucks program allows SNAP-eligible individuals and families to “double” their SNAP dollars when they purchase locally grown and produced products. The initiative supports healthy eating in addition to small farmers, farmers’ markets, local grocery stores and schools.

Strengthen ND SPARK winner

Prairie Harvest Mental Health: Funding will support the redesign of their services to provide more preventative and holistic behavioral health services.

Prairie Harvest Mental Health is offering necessary mental health services and breaking down barriers by recognizing the complex interplay of biological, psychological and social factors that comprise mental health.

Prairie Harvest SPARK winner

“These SPARK grant recipients are all great examples of how our communities can improve the lives of North Dakotans and combat obstacles standing in the way of better health and well-being,” said Amber Blomberg, executive director of the BCBSND Caring Foundation.

BCBSND Caring Foundation will begin accepting letters of intent for the 2024 fall SPARK grant cycle beginning in July. Visit www.BCBSND.com/Caring-Foundation for more details.

About the BCBSND Caring Foundation
Established in 1989, the BCBSND Caring Foundation (www.BCBSND.com/Caring-Foundation) is a private 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Through giving and investing, the Caring Foundation focuses on key health issues that help improve the health and well-being of North Dakotans and their communities. Caring Foundation staff work with grantees to support nonprofit sustainability, collaborate on shared outcomes and create lasting change.