Care Van Program Teams-Up with "Immunize El Paso" to Bring Free Flu Mist to 9,000 El Paso School Children
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Provides a $36,000 Grant
Richardson, Texas — Immunize El Paso and The Caring for Children Foundation, which operates the Care Van Program, announced today that the two programs will be working together to provide 9,000 uninsured and underserved school children in El Paso with free flu mist immunizations. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) is the administrative sponsor for the Caring for Children Foundation. With grant funds received through the company’s "Healthy Kids, Healthy Families" initiative, this flu immunization effort will begin in El Paso Sept. 12, 2011.
"We are proud that this productive collaboration with Immunize El Paso has provided the opportunity to immunize 9,000 children who might otherwise not receive a flu shot this year," says Craig Jeffery, Executive Director of the Caring for Children Foundation. "While Immunize El Paso will provide the professional staff for this effort, we are pleased that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas has provided the funding and the Care Van Program will provide a second van in El Paso just for this flu outreach initiative."
"We are very excited to have the ability to team up with the Caring for Children Foundation to take on this very exciting project" said Dusty Warden, Outreach Coordinator for Immunize El Paso. "By eliminating traditional barriers to immunization, we will be able to protect children through vaccination. But we must remember that El Paso will only be able to realize the benefits of this program with the ability to protect entire communities, if parents also take the opportunity to get vaccinated," Warden continued.
To execute this initiative, Immunize El Paso will visit over 100 area schools spanning across the borderland. In addition to children’s flu vaccinations, the group is also pleased to be able to offer flu vaccines to adults. To help offset the cost of vaccination for adults, Medicare and many major insurance plans are accepted. Click here for the free childhood immunization dates/times at each school: www.immunizeelpaso.org
The Care Van Program was launched in 1997 with a focus on improving access to immunizations in Texas, conducting immunization events at schools, churches, community centers, restaurants, parks and fire stations. Today, this innovative program has grown to a fleet of ten vans serving eight regions of the state, and as of June 2011 had screened/immunized more than 525,000 medically underserved children and provided more than 875,000 immunizations.
"Healthy Kids, Healthy Families" is a three-year initiative of BCBSTX which is designed to encourage health education, promote physical activity, prevent and manage disease, and support safe environments for children. The program works through investments and collaborations with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs to reach children directly.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas -- the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas — is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 40,000 physicians and 400 hospitals to serve 4.6 million members in all 254 counties. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (which operates Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Oklahoma and New Mexico), the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
About Immunize El Paso Immunize El Paso is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to promoting health and safety in El Paso County, serving to the metro and rural areas of our area. Immunize El Paso works in partnership with the El Paso Department of Public Health in immunization projects across the area. Aside from immunization outreach programs, the group operates clinics where services can be attained. Eastside: 1580 George Dieter, Ste 102, 79936 and Downtown: 222 S. Campbell, Basement, 79901.