Excellus BlueCross BlueShield announces 2022 Health Equity Awards Recipients

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield announces
2022 Health Equity Awards Recipients


SYRACUSE, NY –Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield announced today the recipients of its 2022 Health Equity Awards. The awards represent more than $560,000 in financial support for community programs that address racial and ethnic health disparities across its upstate New York service area.


"This second round of Health Equity Award funding will support underserved people with health disadvantages due to race, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender and/or rural disparities,” says Gina Cuyler, MD, Excellus BCBS vice president of health equity and community investments.  “We are proud to align our resources and efforts to partner and identify areas of collaboration with our local community organizations.”


Earlier this year, Excellus BCBS invited organizations to apply for awards of up to $30,000 each to help fund programs to improve health equity in communities of color, especially within Black and Latino communities. These segments of our community continue to suffer from health care and social disadvantages due to racism and discrimination. Award categories include, but are not limited to, improving the community’s physical health and mental health, reducing social disparities in health care, and ensuring access to health care services.


The funding from Excellus BCBS will support 21 nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organizations across the Rochester, CNY/Syracuse, Utica, and Southern Tier Regions. With more than 170 applicants, a comprehensive review process included input from individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to assess each proposal. Grant recipients were selected based on clear, defined goals and measurable results for reducing health disparities and improving health equity.


In the Central New York Region, $209,000 is being awarded to support the following eight initiatives: 


·         Family & Children's Service of Ithaca: Funding will support Family and Children's Services workforce pipeline program to increase mental health providers in Tompkins County.


·         Home HeadQuarters, Inc.: Funding will support Home Headquarters windows and doors replacement program, that has been proven to reduce the rates of children exposed to lead-based paint in the city of Syracuse.

·         Joseph's House for Women, Inc.: Funding will support the Joseph's House Health & Wellness program to expand and increase access to supportive mental health services for pregnant women currently experiencing crisis.

·         Liberty Resources, Inc.: Funding will support the addition of Liberty Resources reproductive health care for low-income, uninsured/underinsured men and women in Onondaga County.

·         On Point for College, Inc.: Funding will support mental health workshops for On Point college students and quarterly cultural competency mental health trainings for front-line advising staff.

·         Oswego Health Foundation: Funding will support Oswego Health's mobile mental health services allowing individuals with severe or persistent mental illness to live safe and secure lives independently in the community.

·         Refugee & Immigrant Self-Empowerment, Inc.: Funding will support the Syracuse Refugee Agriculture Program (SyRAP) in Oswego, NY.

·         Young Men’s Christian Association of Central New York, Inc.: Funding will support wellness services and assistance through health advocates for pregnant women, specifically designed for New Americans at the Northside Women's Center.


For the latest information on the health plan’s community investments and partnerships, members, providers and employers are encouraged to visit https://news.excellusbcbs.com/news-room/community-investments-partnerships.




Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company's mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With more than 4,000 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit ExcellusBCBS.com.

Post Date

Nov 17th 2022