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Department of Population Science and Policy awarded $250,000 grant to improve health outcomes

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Southern Illinois University (SIU) Medicine Department of Population Science and Policy has been awarded $250,000 by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois for work to improve health outcomes in central and southern Illinois.

“This gift showcases the incredible investment Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is making to improve health in Illinois,” said Dr. Sameer Vohra, Chair, SIU Medicine Department of Population Science and Policy. “We’re thankful for this generous grant and look forward to using these funds to address health challenges in the Illinois communities that need it the most.”

The grant will help fund Population Science and Policy initiatives and projects, including:

  • A partnership with an underserved Illinois school district to identify the factors that impact teen and pre-teen mental health and address challenges through the recommendation of evidence-based programs;
  • A project focused on improving health equity and overcoming barriers in receiving health care of rural individuals who identify as sexual and gender minority;
  • A statewide effort focused on identifying and sharing innovations that are improving and transforming health in rural and underserved Illinois communities.

“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois is committed to improving health outcomes and removing barriers to healthy living at the community level,” said Harmony Harrington, vice-president government and community relations for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. “We’re excited to partner with SIU, a known leader in promoting community health, to help expand their work focused on health equity, behavioral and rural health for the communities in central and southern Illinois.”

For more information about SIU Medicine Population Science and Policy please visit

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