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null Excellus BCBS selects 13 nonprofits to share in $114,500 in Community Health Awards

Excellus BCBS selects 13 nonprofits to share in $114,500 in Community Health Awards

For Immediate Release:  2019-01-16

Contact:  Karen Feigel, (585) 238-4308 /

Thirteen nonprofit Rochester area organizations are receiving Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards. Each award recipient will receive up to $4,000 allocated by the company to help fund health and wellness programs in the company’s six-county Rochester region. The Health Plan is donating $114,500 to 37 nonprofits across upstate New York.

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.

“The company’s grants demonstrate a corporate commitment to supporting local organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” said Holly Snow, director of community health engagement, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

Awards focus on improving the health status of the community, reducing the incidence of specific diseases, promoting health education and enhancing overall wellness. Winning organizations are selected based on the proposed program’s scope of need, goals and the number of people expected to benefit from it.

The nonprofit organizations in Monroe County to receive Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards include:  

  • 13thirty Cancer Connect, to fund the “Building Healing, Healthy Habits” wellness program to help young cancer survivors develop sustainable, self-care, health-maintenance behaviors for their long-term well-being. The program promotes physical fitness, nutrition, stress management and personal empowerment.
  • Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning, to create and implement an interactive, child-focused digital game to be used on the Coalition’s website and at community events to educate children, families and the public about lead hazards in the home.
  • Heritage Christian Services Inc., to support the purchase of a fleet of adaptive bikes for individuals with limited mobility and intellectual/developmental disabilities (I\DD), providing an opportunity for socialization, regular exercise and physical activity.
  • NAMI Rochester, for its “Peer to Peer” education course to help those experiencing mental health challenges achieve and maintain recovery through patient involvement, behavioral health support and community engagement.
  • RESOLVE of Greater Rochester, Inc., for a pilot of RITa®, the Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Virtual Health Coach digital application. Designed for use in the primary care and community health care settings, the app gives providers an additional tool for IPV education to help patients understand how relationships may impact health, and positions health care providers as allies to IPV patients.
  • The Children’s Agenda, to help advance “All Kids Thrive,” through an integrated and accessible system of support for children from birth to age 8 and their families. This approach is designed to improve care coordination and navigate services among health care, early education, education, and human services systems.
  • Veterans Outreach Center Inc., to provide more access for homeless veterans by replacing the current double beds at VOC’s Richards House and Otto House apartments.
  • GiGi’s Playhouse Rochester, to support the GiGi Fit fitness program for individuals with Down Syndrome. The program is designed to empower participants to develop and improve fitness through activities in strength, balance, mobility, reaction time, speed, flexibility and more.

Nonprofit organizations receiving Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards in Livingston, Ontario, Wayne and Yates Counties include:  

  • Foundation for Dansville Education, Livingston County, for its “Seats for Success” project to increase physical activity among students. Designed to meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guideline of at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity for youth, traditional seating for students in grades 3-6 will be replaced with active seating options such as wiggly stools or standing desks to help meet special learning needs and improve health.
  • Family Promise of Ontario County Inc., Ontario County, funding for the “Bridges for Hope” program which provides homeless families with safe, secure and supervised temporary lodging while supporting their needs to acquire permanent, independent housing.
  • Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation, Inc., Wayne County, to support the rehabilitation of homes for modest-income families and seniors to eliminate health and safety hazards. Repairs decrease the number of safety-related injuries, medical emergencies and hospital stays.
  • Finger Lakes Migrant Health Care Project, Inc., Wayne County, to provide oral health education to families and dental screenings for children, as well as making educational information available for distribution through local hospitals and OB/GYN and pediatric practices.
  • S2AY Rural Health Network, Yates County, to support the Our Town Rocks wellness program, “Creating Health Habits for Better Health.” The program supports and encourages community residents to make healthy lifestyle choices by creating activities that promote healthy personal behaviors, making the choice to engage in a healthy lifestyle an easier one.

“These awards complement our existing grants and sponsorships with agencies that work to enhance quality of life, including health status, in upstate New York,” said Snow.

In more than 80 years that Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has been serving upstate New Yorkers, the company has supported hundreds of programs that help residents in our community live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care.

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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