Excellus BCBS presents Community Health Awards

Stock photo.

Rochester area nonprofit organizations are receiving Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards to help improve health and health care. 

Each organization will receive up to $5,000 to fund programs that help address the economic and social conditions influencing the health of the community, reduce health disparities, support clinical health improvement and/or assist our communities in dealing with the impact of COVID-19.

“We are well aware of the financial burdens placed on our local nonprofit organizations this past year and we are committed to supporting their efforts as they address the health needs of our communities,” said Stephen Cohen, senior vice president and chief medical officer. “These grants demonstrate our corporate commitment to supporting community organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan.”

Organizations are selected based on the proposed program’s scope of need, goals and the number of people expected to benefit from it.

Baden Street Settlement of Rochester Inc. will use its funding to support a telemedicine hub so community members without computer equipment or internet connection can communicate with their physicians and other health care providers. 

Black Physicians Network of Greater Rochester Inc. will use its award to support efforts to provide COVID-19 vaccines to parts of the community challenged by lack of digital connection and transportation.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Rochester Inc. will use its funding to support a trauma-informed care study to assess the emotional and behavioral reactions that may indicate traumatic stress in youth in light of the pandemic, health and safety concerns, remote learning challenges, food insecurity and racial unrest.

Catholic Family Center’s funding will go toward its Support to Aging Residents program serving low-income, frail elderly or seniors with limited English language skills. Funding will help obtain COVID-19 vaccinations for clients, including help navigating the system to schedule appointments, transportation and accompaniment to appointments, and follow-up monitoring.

First Genesis Development Corporation is providing coronavirus vaccination assistance for seniors. Funding will help support coordination of assisting seniors ages 70 and older with online vaccination applications, transportation and assistance at vaccination sites.

Funding for the Friends of the Rochester Public Market Inc. will support the Market Token program, which allows shoppers to use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to purchase healthy foods from the market’s 130 local vendors.

Gilda’s Club Rochester will use its award for a new program that provides free cancer support services to city residents. Health and wellness, healthy cooking and nutrition, support groups, survivorship and Ask the Expert services will be offered at the clubhouse on Alexander Street and at sites throughout the city.

Judicial Process Commission will use its funding for the New Journey for Mothers program that serves women inmates who are pregnant and/or mothers with children, and are being released to the Monroe County community from the local jail. Funding will help provide crisis counseling, one-on-one counseling, therapeutic support groups, referrals to health care services and coordination of family reunification.

Funding awarded to the Mental Health Association of Rochester/Monroe Inc. will support outreach in Livingston, Monroe and Ontario counties to promote vaccine awareness, education, peer services, and help identify and find solutions to barriers such as transportation assistance, online registration and appointment reminders.

Southwest Area Neighborhood Inc. will use its award to provide neighborhood families and seniors with vaccine information and access to personal protective equipment for those who lack economic resources.

Spiritus Christi Mental Health Center’s award will support telehealth services to provide patient access to virtual medical and mental health care.

The Urban League of Rochester will use its funding to support community outreach to Rochester residents with timely COVID-19 vaccine information and resources.

“These awards complement our existing grants and sponsorships to agencies that work to enhance the quality of life and health of our upstate New York communities,” said Holly Snow, director community investments and partnerships.