Excellus BlueCross BlueShield selects seven Central New York nonprofit organizations to receive Community Health Awards

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Seven nonprofit Central New York organizations have been chosen from among a total of 185 applications to receive Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s 2016 Community Health Awards. Each award recipient today received up to $4,000 of the $87,000 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 and are made based on scope of need, goals of the program, number of people expected to benefit from the program and positive impact on the community’s health status.


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


·       Canton Woods Senior Center, Baldwinsville, to install a hydration station (including a water fountain and bottle filling station) and provide educational information on the health benefits of proper hydration to help improve the health of senior participants.

·       Community Health Center of the North Country, Canton, to make 250 carbon monoxide detectors and 300 informational brochures available to St. Lawrence County residents, 26 percent of whom do not have a carbon monoxide detector in their homes.


·       Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Jefferson County, Watertown, to fund “4-H Up for the Challenge” at after-school programs in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. The program’s research-based curriculum helps youth set goals and make healthy decisions regarding physical activity, health and nutrition.

·       GardenShare, Canton, to make bonus Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits available to low-income St. Lawrence County residents who shop at farmer’s markets. The bonus benefits will help low-income families increase their consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables.

·       InterFaith Works, Syracuse, to create a Refugee Wellness Program that addresses depression, loneliness and health imbalances among refugees who are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the war, violence and oppression they have experienced.

·       SAGE Upstate, Syracuse, to offer cultural competency training and resources for health professionals who provide services for older gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals in Cortland, Onondaga and Oswego counties. Funds would also be used to produce a resource guide of supportive services for older GLBT county residents.

·       YWCA of Cortland, to support the organization’s newly formed group for girls in grade 6 through 8 who reside in low-income homes and experience stress. The girls will learn many skills, including nutrition, personal health and safety, appropriate social interaction and leadership.


“The company’s Community Health Awards demonstrate a corporate commitment to support 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 residents of upstate New York, the company has supported hundreds of programs that are aimed at improving the health status of area residents.

Post Date

Apr 13th 2016