GRAFTON, N.D. – Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Caring Foundation partnered with Unity Medical Center to enhance the pediatric gym that opened in May 2022. The gym augments occupational, physical and speech therapy services to local children on a regular basis. The funding helped purchase a climbing system that includes a scooter ramp and roller slide as well as a steam roller, therapy ball, sensory activity equipment and much more.
Mackenzie Paulson, physical therapist assistant said, “We are excited to now be able to provide these services to Grafton and the surrounding communities. Community members continuously comment how nice it is to not have to take a half day of work off to travel 45 miles or more each way now that there is an option for their children locally to receive this care.”
Currently, the pediatric therapy gym is providing services to 17 children. It is expected that the number of children seeking services will increase, as well as staffing numbers. Ms. Paulson states, “We are extremely grateful for the help from the BCBSND Caring Foundation. This grant has helped us achieve our goal of supplying more than just basic equipment; enhancing our space and offerings of the pediatric therapy gym.”
BCBSND Caring Foundation Manager Amber Blomberg shared, “Their therapy gym sets a great example of rural areas coming together to ensure children’s needs are being met in their communities. It is a very community-based and community-minded project and has been a heartwarming project to be part of.”
About the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Caring Foundation
Established in 1989, the BCBSND 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.