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null Excellus BCBS selects Rochester area nonprofits to share in Community Health Awards totaling $108,000

Excellus BCBS selects Rochester area nonprofits to share in Community Health Awards totaling $108,000

For Immediate Release:  2019-05-07

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

Eleven nonprofit Rochester area organizations are receiving Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards to help improve the community’s health. Each award recipient will receive up to $4,000 to help fund programs that include improved infant care; increased access to breast cancer education among African American women; and increased access to drug treatment.

Excellus BCBS is donating almost $108,000 to 33 nonprofits across upstate New York with this round of its Community Health Award program.

“The 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 for 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 the Finger Lakes region chosen to receive Excellus BCBS Community Health Awards include:  

  • Angel Care Ministry of St. Marianne Cope Parish, to supply new and expectant mothers in need with portable baby beds and other newborn necessities to ensure babies have a safe place to sleep when they arrive home from the hospital.
  • Asbury First United Methodist Church, to support the UR Well Clinic, an outreach program within the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry that offers free acute health care to uninsured and underserved adults.
  • Celebration of Life Community Inc., to benefit the Help Me Read one-on-one tutoring program at School #17 in Rochester. Volunteer tutors are paired with children in grades 1-6 to provide additional reading support and mentoring.
  • House of Mercy, Health & Wellness Program, to provide CPR, first aid, and opioid overdose training, as well as first aid kits to help treat homeless individuals who visit the House of Mercy’s drop-in emergency services.
  • Jefferson Family Health Fund, to support the Magnolia Children’s Community Garden, which brings healthy, fresh produce to the food desert of Rochester’s inner city.
  • Medical Motor Service of Rochester and Monroe County, Inc., to help address the needs of the chronically homeless in the Rochester area with funding for the MMS Homeless Shuttle, a late-night program to provide food, health care, and overnight housing.
  • Mt. Hope Family Center, funding to support the Building Healthy Children program and provide teen mothers entering the program with welcome bags that include parenting and child health resource information and developmentally-appropriate baby items.
  • Nazareth College, to support 13 Head Start Hearing Screenings for approximately 750 Head Start students throughout the greater Rochester area.
  • United Way of Seneca County, Inc., funding will help increase access to treatment through Seneca County Substance Abuse Coalition which provides transportation opportunities to attend mental health and substance abuse treatment and programs.
  • Wilson Commencement Park, to support the newly redesigned Youth Development Program offering year-round structured educational and recreational opportunities for children of its residential community.
  • Witness Project of Western New York, to support its culturally competent, community-based breast cancer education program for African American women. Funding will provide 10 breast health education programs in Monroe County. The Witness Project educates on early cancer detection through stories told by area breast cancer survivors.

“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.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has been serving upstate New Yorkers for more than 80 years. In that time, 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