Excellus BlueCross BlueShield selects nine Central New York nonprofits to receive 2020 Community Health Awards

aida byrne
Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield selects nine Central New York nonprofits to receive 2020 Community Health Awards

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield chose nine organizations from among more than 40 Central New York nonprofits that submitted applications for the Community Health Awards the company made available in upstate New York earlier this year.

Each recipient was awarded up to $4,000 allocated by the company to help fund health and wellness programs in the company’s five-county Central 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 nine nonprofit organizations in the Central New York region selected to receive Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s 2020 Community Health Awards are: 

 

  • Auburn Memorial Medical Services, to purchase lead testing kits for two pediatric practices in Auburn. The lead testing kits will increase the number of children being tested for lead exposure and poisoning in Cayuga County.
  • Brady Faith Center, Syracuse, for the Southside Wellness Ambassador program, which provides wellness education and meals on Syracuse’s Southside. Wellness ambassadors engage neighbors of Brady Farm (located on Ford Avenue) to increase their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables through delivering food to families and then having them join online to take part in a cooking session with the delivered ingredients.
  • Loretto/PACE CNY, Syracuse, to provide multisensory interventions such as auto-locking glider chairs, ambient lighting, play therapy, UV light therapy and add a large mobile raised garden bed component to Loretto’s multisensory environment for individuals who have dementia, cognitive impairment and other special needs. In collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners, Loretto will introduce horticulture therapy to enhance quality of life among participants.
  • Onondaga County Health Department, Syracuse, to purchase a blood lead testing analyzer device and testing supplies that will be used by Lead Poisoning Prevention Program staff in an Onondaga County Health Department clinic that serves high-risk children.
  • REACH CNY, Syracuse, to purchase toddler mattresses and bed frames as an incentive for high-risk women who are parenting 1- to 3-year-old toddlers in Oswego County to participate in Community Health Worker programming. The programming will screen for and provide education and referrals to basic health services, including adult primary care, pediatrician/well-child visits, dental care and family planning services.
  • Rescue Mission, Syracuse, to purchase 50 pairs of puncture-resistant gloves used for sharps disposal and also to purchase and install an automated external defibrillator at the Rescue Mission’s new Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelter.
  • Seven Valleys Health Coalition, Cortland, to revamp the organization’s “Get Cortland Cooking Healthy” classes, a series of five free cooking classes that are open to the public. The classes teach residents how to access and prepare healthy foods and focus on preparing healthy, tasty and easy recipes that incorporate produce.
  • Help Me Grow Onondaga/United Way of Central New York, Syracuse, will offer a series of five developmental screening and education events for parents and caregivers via online platforms and at public libraries. Participants of the Books, Balls and Blocks events will receive age appropriate "Help Me Grow" tote bags that will be delivered to their doors or in person. They will feature developmentally appropriate toys, along with directions and ideas for parents to continue playing with their children in their home environments.
  • The Upstate Foundation, Syracuse, to provide medications, dental and eye care, walkers, socks, boots, personal care items and other emergent supplies for Upstate Medical University's “Housecalls for the Homeless” street medicine program. The program delivers medical, psychiatric and addiction care safety net services for men and women experiencing homelessness in Syracuse.

“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 given out earlier this year complement our existing grants and sponsorships with agencies that work to enhance quality of life, including health status, in upstate New York.”

Throughout its more than 80 years of providing access to high-quality, affordable health care in upstate New York, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has supported hundreds of programs that help residents in our community live healthier and more secure lives.