When the city of Des Arc in Prairie County suffered severe floods in May from the
overflowing White River, city officials discovered that their emergency communication
system was overloaded. Radios used by the police department, the fire department and
the EMS services all used the same frequency, hampering their ability to respond to the
public health and safety crisis.
A $5,000 grant from the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas will buy nine
new radios for the Des Arc police department, expanding their ability to protect the lives
of its citizens.
“When we saw the flooding in Des Arc, we wanted to help,” said Patrick O’Sullivan,
executive director of the Blue & You Foundation, which is funded by Arkansas Blue
Cross and Blue Shield to provide health-improvement grants in Arkansas.
When asked what health or safety need became apparent during the flooding, Des
Arc Mayor James Garth and Police Chief Rick Parson quickly identified the need for
additional communication equipment.
“After the flooding subsided, we knew we needed new radios, but we didn’t know how
we could pay for them,” said Chief Parson. “The grant from the Blue & You Foundation
came at just the right time.”
The grant to the city of Des Arc also marks a milestone for the Blue & You Foundation,
which has now provided grants to organizations in all 75 counties of the state. “After 16
years of grant making, we have awarded more than $27 million in health-improvement
grants to 1,278 organizations across the state, but we had never received an
application from within Prairie County,” O’Sullivan said. “With the grant to Des Arc, we
have now directly helped organizations in every county in Arkansas.”
The Foundation awards approximately $2.5 million in grants annually to programs
that positively affect the health of Arkansans. Any 501(c)(3) non-profit organization,
public charity, public school, church, non-profit hospital or governmental organization in
Arkansas is eligible to apply for a grant.
The Foundation’s deadline to apply for regular grants, which range from $5,000 to
$150,000, is July 14, 2017. Applications for regular grants can be made online through
the Foundation website: www.BlueAndYouFoundationArkansas.org.
The Blue & You Foundation is a charitable foundation established and funded by
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield to promote better health in Arkansas. By
providing funding and working with other organizations, the Foundation hopes to
support healthcare projects that will benefit all Arkansans.
The Blue & You Foundation is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue
Shield Association and serves the state of Arkansas.