Health equity is at the core of everything we do; it’s central to our mission to help communities overcome unfair and unjust barriers to health. We know what works — changing whole systems, infrastructures and attitudes to create a lasting impact on health.

The Foundation recognizes five social and economic determinants as fundamental for influencing health equity, and we continue to keep health equity at the core of our mission. By working to improve these determinants, nonprofits in Minnesota can create lasting change that results in better health.

Social and Economic Determinants of Health

Social and economic determinants influence a full 40 percent of health outcomes. The systems and structures of society also influence health through the distribution of public goods and resources. As a result, the resources and support a community provides its residents and the surrounding social and physical environment have a significant effect on health outcomes.

When understanding the Foundation’s mission and commitment to health, it’s important to note that while we focus on five determinants of health, we also recognize their inherent interconnectedness. Each presents a unique opportunity for systems change, but we do not view the five determinants of health as discrete categories. A project might begin centralized around one goal, such as improving educational outcomes for low-income youth and youth of color, and its impact may result in lasting influence on community safety and employment. We believe that by focusing on these five determinants of health, we can have the greatest impact.

Community Safety

People can feel at ease in their neighborhoods, facilitating meaningful connections and promoting long-term community stability. Learn More


Better educated people and their children live longer, healthier lives, and education begins with early-childhood programs. Learn More


Job security and workplace safety enables individuals to thrive and maintain healthy routines. Learn More


Families with stable housing, income and wealth have the tools to fully engage with their community without the burden of financial stress. Learn More

Family and Social Support 

United and supported, friends and families can embrace their community, gain social capital and create conditions for health. Learn More


What's Going on at The Blue Cross Foundation

Casa de Esperanza's focus on listening and learning allows for change to come from within the community, based on people’s needs and the strategies they develop.

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Northside Achievement Zone recognizes that education is key to better health and is working with families to ensure that children are on a solid path toward college.

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Grantee Northcountry Cooperative Foundation was recently featured in a news story "Taking Control: MN Mobile Home Residents Seek Park Ownership."

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The Foundation has awarded $1.5 million across the state for creative work to address social and economic influences that affect health.

Who Got Grants?