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Excellus BCBS Community Health Awards to benefit residents of Ontario and Wayne Counties

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield announced today that it is awarding a total of 65 community health awards to nonprofit organizations across upstate New York. Community Health Awards were given to 13 nonprofit organizations in the Rochester region, including four serving Ontario and Wayne Counties.

Community health award funding will support innovative programs and solutions to advance health equity and ultimately improve health outcomes for underserved segments of the communities the health plan serves.

Through a competitive application process, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards will provide over $260,000 in funding to launch, expand, and sustain programs and services that promote health. These investments will also advance health equity by extending the reach of preventive health services or health-promoting programs to vulnerable populations.


“Providing access to high-quality health care for people who need it is core to our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” states Gina Cuyler, MD FACP, Vice President Health Equity and Community Investments. “This essential community health funding will allow our community organizations to continue to address and remove barriers impacting economic stability, address social determinants of health, and reinforce overall community health improvement programs.”

In Ontario and Wayne counties, the nonprofit organizations chosen to receive Excellus BCBS Community Health Awards include:

  • Boys & Girls Club of Geneva, Inc., First 1,000 Days Promise: The initiative helps all families of babies born within the Geneva community with nutrition, health, early childhood education and exercise support for the first 1,000 days of the newborn’s life. Inadequate nutrition and early childhood conditions impact the readiness of many children to learn and behave when arriving at kindergarten. The award will support weekly groceries, diapers, formula, daily access to toddler gym time, Life Coaching, and assistance with accessing elements that can improve life in these delicate early months.
  • Family Promise of Ontario County, Inc., Healthy Families Prevention program: The lack of access to transportation, internet/technology, or stable housing in rural areas leaves many families unable to access timely medical or behavioral health care. Award funding will support case management services to families awaiting program support so that medical and behavioral health issues can be addressed as soon as possible. Program participants will receive access to telehealth and counseling services, transportation to and from appointments and pharmacies for medication and medical supplies. Families at risk of homelessness can receive assistance with food, vocational training, sustainable housing, and childcare.


  • Food Justice of Geneva, NY Inc., Food Justice GleaningFunding will support Food Justice of Geneva’s volunteer-driven food gleaning organization that rescues fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables from local growers and farm fields that would otherwise be disposed of, diverting it from landfills and distributes it free-of-charge to the neediest members of the City of Geneva and Ontario County communities.
  • Literacy Volunteers of Wayne County, Youth Mental Health First AidFunding will support the expansion of the Wayne County Community Schools Mental Health Training Program to train more first responders, non-profit agency service providers, educators, and public school employees in the Youth Mental Health First Aid program.  Through a series of workshops, Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach adults who regularly interact with youth how to assist adolescents who are experiencing mental health, addiction challenges, or are in crisis and connect them with help.


The other nine Rochester region nonprofit recipients include: 540WMain, Inc., Cameron Community Ministries, Community Resource Collaborative, Inc., Golisano Autism Center, MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, Rochester Spinal Association, The Legal Aid Society of Rochester, NY, TRU-Impact, Inc., and Villa of Hope.

The health plan’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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