Excellus BlueCross BlueShield selects eight Central New York nonprofits to receive Community Health Awards

leva doyle
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield selects eight Central New York nonprofits to receive Community Health Awards

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Eight nonprofit Central New York organizations have been chosen from among 200 applications to receive Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards. Each award recipient today received up to $4,000 of the $110,500 allocated by the company to help fund health and wellness programs in its 31-county upstate New York region.

Through a competitive application process, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards support programs that have clear goals to improve the health or health care of a specific population.
Awards focus on improving the health status of the community, reducing the incidence of specific diseases, promoting health education and enhancing overall wellness. Winning organizations are selected based on the proposed program’s scope of need, goals and the number of people expected to benefit from it.

The eight nonprofit organizations in the Central New York region selected to receive Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards are:  

Brady Faith Center, Syracuse, to establish a pilot community-supported agriculture program for low-income families. The program will subsidize half the cost of a community-supported agriculture share for 16 weeks to provide healthy, locally grown and readily available produce and also offer cooking classes and recipe cards for participants and market stand customers.

Calvary Food Pantry, Auburn, to increase the amount of fresh produce (purchased from local farmers and farmers markets) offered to clients of the food pantry by approximately 1.4 pounds per person, per week, from June to November (the months when local fruits and vegetables are available).

Catholic Charities of Onondaga County, Syracuse, for the organization’s Refugee Health Services program. Grant money will provide program participants with transportation to medical appointments and a basic first aid kit that includes adhesive bandages, pain relievers, a thermometer and antiseptics, along with instructions on their use.

Home HeadQuarters, Syracuse, for its Lead Water Testing Program. Funds will be used to purchase tap water lead testing kits for 50 to 75 households on the city’s South side and involved in Home HeadQuarters’ Green & Healthy Home Initiative Greater Syracuse. Households will be reached during the organization's Annual Block Blitz event. Water filters will be provided for all households that have contamination levels above the Environmental Protection Agency's action limit.

Liberty Resources, Syracuse, to fund the organization’s Whole Health program, which focuses on helping program participants take charge of their health and well-being by developing a plan that incorporates wellness (including setting nutritional goals and developing mind-body practices) as a vital part of their behavioral health.

McGraw Lions Club, McGraw, for the organization’s “See” Sight Program. Grant money will be used to purchase and maintain an eye screening camera and provide eye screening, referrals and prescriptions for youth in Cortland County.

REACH CNY, Syracuse, to fund the Breastfeeding Café program in Oswego County through December 2018. The program will offer monthly breastfeeding support groups that provide peer and professional support, breastfeeding educational materials and support items, light refreshments and referrals to community resources for mothers and their families.

Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility, Syracuse, to fund the Teen Outreach Program for youth ages 10 through 21. To address issues of teen pregnancy and help youth to be successful in school, the program works with youth in helping them to develop good health habits, a strong sense of self-worth and a better understanding of their importance in the community.

“The company’s Community Health Awards demonstrate a corporate commitment to supporting local organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” said Jim Reed, regional president, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “These awards complement our existing grants and sponsorships with agencies that work to enhance quality of life, including health status, in upstate New York.”

In the 80 years that Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has been serving upstate New Yorkers, the company has supported hundreds of programs that help residents in our community live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care.