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Not-for-profits invited to submit maternal health care project ideas for Excellus BCBS

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield announced today that it is asking the community to submit ideas for its Member and Community Health Improvement (MACHI) funding that specifically targets maternal health programs and access to comprehensive maternal care within its 31-county upstate New York coverage area.

Not-for-profit organizations may submit project ideas via beginning May 2, 2022. Organizations interested in applying are encouraged to review program guidelines by clicking the maternal health banner at the top of to learn more. All applications must be received no later than midnight on May 25, 2022.

Submitting a brief idea summary is the first step in the grant process. Not-for-profit applicants whose initiatives are selected for the next stage will then be invited to submit a full application. Final funding decisions will be announced in fall 2022.

“In keeping with our mission to ensure access to high-quality health care and reduce health disparities, this targeted grant funding provides an opportunity to significantly advance our understanding of the factors underlying preventable maternal health issues and improve maternal health and health equity in upstate New York,” says Gina Cuyler, MD, Excellus BCBS vice president of health equity and community investments.

Pregnant women in the United States are more than twice as likely to die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth than those in most high-income countries. And, according to data from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), childbirth complications have been increasing, specifically for women of color. The data shows that women in majority Black and Hispanic communities have a higher rate, 63 percent, and 32 percent respectively, of severe maternal complications than women in majority white communities. Prevalence of delivery complications is 46 percent higher among black mothers versus white mothers and the maternal mortality rate is three times higher.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield operates in 31 upstate New York counties, divided 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.