[caption id="attachment_225676" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Caption: Gov. John Carney talks with Kate Dupont Phillips, executive director of Healthy Communities Delaware, at the July 22 announcement of Highmark’s donation. | PHOTO COURTESY OF GOVERNOR’S OFFICE[/caption]
WILMINGTON – Gov. John Carney said he had a hard time containing himself when he received a call from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield DelawarePresident Nick Moriello earlier this year."He didn't see me, but I did a backflip on the other end of the line," the governor told a crowd in July.Carney was excited to hear that the health insurer was donating $1.5 million to match the state’s contribution to Healthy Communities Delaware (HCD), a collaboration involving the state, University of Delaware and Delaware Community Foundation.HCD works in partnership with communities to address resident priorities around the social determinants of health, or conditions in which we are born, live, learn, work and age. Many Delawareans lack the basic resources for health and well-being – safe and healthy homes, a quality education, meaningful employment, a healthy environment, access to healthy foods, financial stability and reliable transportation. Many of these inequities are a result of and perpetuated by structural racism and discrimination and are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.“Through this investment, we are strengthening the vital conditions that all people and communities need to thrive. From humane housing to lifelong learning, and from meeting basic needs to creating a sense of belonging and improving other conditions that impact a person’s health – we can help more Delawareans live long and healthy lives,” Moriello said in a statement announcing the funding from Highmark’s BluePrints for the Community grant fund.The latest batch of funding will support the work of nonprofits and organizations like Be Ready Community Development Corp., which is building community resources for the Hilltop community in Wilmington’s West Side. For over 15 years, Be Ready CDC has promoted community and economic development through after-school and summer enrichment programs, a food bank, youth leadership development, entrepreneurship training, and transitional housing for re-entry and homeless families.It is also developingSolomon’s Court, a mixed-use project with 18 affordable rental units and 5,600 square feet of commercial space at the corner of Fourth and Rodney streets.“This is a different kind of investment partnership, and the long-term commitment of Healthy Communities Delaware helps us to leverage significant additional investment to create the community our residents want and deserve,” Pastor Margaret Moon-Taylor, executive director of Be Ready CDC, said in a statement.