Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Addresses Health Disparities in Upstate New York with new Health Equity Awards

Posted on August 17, 2021

Nonprofit organizations are invited to apply beginning August 17

Rochester, NY - Recognizing structural racism as a driving force of health inequities and a barrier to its goal of health equity, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield invites nonprofit organizations to apply for Health Equity Awards of up to $30,000 each to help fund health and wellness programs that address racial and ethnic health disparities in upstate New York. The application period opens on Tuesday, August 17 and closes at midnight, Friday, September 17.

“Excellus BlueCross BlueShield made a pledge to our employees, members, and communities that we will use our influence and resources to effect change,” says Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Corporate Diversity Relations Director Joseph Searles. “Through community investments such as this, we strive to improve access to care, advance specific health outcomes and support organizations in our community that share our mission.”

Nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organizations in Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s service territory are invited to apply for Health Equity Awards. Proposals must include clear, defined goals for reducing health disparities and improving health equity in communities of color, especially within Black and Latino communities, where historic and current racism and discrimination continues to result in a higher burden of health inequities and social disadvantages. Organizations will be required to specify how funding will measurably assist in improving racial and ethnic health equity outcomes. Health Equity categories include, but are not limited to:

  • Improving the community’s physical health and mental health
  • Reducing social disparities in health care
  • Ensuring access to health care

For additional information and the online application, please visit www.excellusbcbs.com/community, scroll to NEW! Health Equity Awards and click Submit Application. Proposals that have detailed scope, goals, rationale for support, and measures will receive the strongest consideration. Award winners will be announced in late October.

“As a company, we condemn hatred, discrimination, violence and injustice. We believe we all have a role to play in dismantling systemic racism. Inclusion, diversity, equity and access are fundamental to our organizational culture,” says Excellus BlueCross BlueShield President and CEO Jim Reed. “We have and will continue to commit ourselves to the equitable treatment of all people and the elimination of discrimination in all its forms.”

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield operates in 31 upstate New York counties, organized into four regions: the Rochester region, encompassing Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne and Yates counties; the Central New York region, which includes Cayuga, Cortland, Onondaga, Oswego and Tompkins counties; the Southern Tier region, including Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Tioga, Schuyler and Steuben counties; and the Utica region, comprising Clinton, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and St. Lawrence counties.

The company’s corporate giving follows all applicable laws and regulations and does not support funding organizations that conflict with its corporate mission, goals, policies or products.

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About Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

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 3,500 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.

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