A new grant will allow UF’s HealthStreet to help residents in lower income counties.

HealthStreet received a 3-year grant for $300,000 from Florida Blue on Dec. 9, said Catherine Striley, an assistant professor of epidemiology. The grant will allow the program to send health workers to Putnam and Union counties to evaluate residents’ health. Currently, HealthStreet only does this in Alachua and Duval counties.

In Putnam and Union counties, the grant will also allow them to transport residents to doctors as far away as Gainesville or Jacksonville when necessary, she said.

HealthStreet wanted to expand to Putnam and Union counties to determine what their health care system needs, Striley said.

“It won’t be until we’re actually on the street and talking to people that we’ll find where the holes are,” she said. “This is kind of an opening for us but not at all an ending.”

Florida Blue will continue to give the grant annually, said Velma Monteiro-Tribble, Florida Blue’s director of grants and programs. She said more nonprofits will apply in coming years. This year, about 20 organizations applied.

A total of $1.5 million was divided between the six organizations that received the grant across the state, Monteiro-Tribble said.

She said Florida Blue gave HealthStreet the grant to help them reach out to underserved communities.

“I think this was a well-deserved grant,” she said.

Contact Caitlin Ostroff at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @ceostroff