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

UTICA, N.Y. — Eight nonprofit organizations in the Utica/Rome/North Country region have been chosen from among a total of 185 applications to receive Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s 2016 Community Health Awards. Each award recipient will receive 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 eight nonprofit organizations in Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s 11-county Utica/Rome/North Country region that were selected to receive Community Health Awards are:

  • Abraham House, Utica, to recruit and train up to 60 volunteer caregivers, who will help provide 24-hour residential end-of-life hospice care in a home-like setting for the terminally ill free of charge for patients or families.
  • ACR Health, Utica, to make available nutrient-dense foods and literature on healthy eating through the organization’s peer-based outreach program to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases in targeted, high-risk neighborhoods in the Utica/Rome/North Country region.
  • Center for Family Life and Recovery, Utica, to fund the Healthy Heart Club for overweight school-aged youth in Oneida and Herkimer counties. Club participants will make a nine-month commitment to learn healthy living skills and track their weekly physical activity and healthy eating options.
  • Clear Path for Veterans, Chittenango, to offer Saturday Family Reset wellness programs that include holistic approaches to self-care and wellness and emphasize making healthy choices about food, exercise and relaxation. Goals are to help veterans and their families improve their quality of life and sense of well-being.
  • Insight House Chemical Dependency Services, Utica, to make yoga classes available on-site for Insight House clients. The goal is to promote and provide opportunities for patients to lead a healthy lifestyle, when they may have neglected their health due to alcohol or substance abuse.
  • Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network, Utica, for a Safe Sleep for Babies campaign to increase awareness regarding sudden infant death syndrome risk reduction and safe sleep environments. Funds will also be used to purchase portable cribs, crib sheets and Halo sleep sacks for 50 infants.
  • Multicultural Association of Medical Interpreters, Utica, for a series of three culturally modified health seminars for the refugee and Latino communities in Utica and Syracuse. The seminars will cover such topics as nutrition, lead poisoning, vaccinations, dental care, fire safety, stranger danger and CPR training.
  • The Parkway Center, Utica, to purchase exercise equipment and establish the organization’s Stay Young Strong Bones exercise program at five additional sites. Goals of the program are to increase strength, muscle mass and bone density while reducing the risk for chronic conditions.

“The company’s Community Health Awards demonstrate a corporate commitment to support local organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” said Eve VandeWal, 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.


Posted by Ambi Daniel