Rochester, NY

Local nonprofits receive Community Health Awards from Excellus BCBS to provide access to food, health care and help

Ten nonprofit Rochester area organizations are receiving Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards to help provide people with better access to food, health care, and assistance. 

Each of the organizations will receive up to $4,000 to help fund programs that include improved infant care, increased access to food pantries and health care services for low-income and uninsured people. 

Excellus BCBS is donating almost $124,000 to 35 nonprofits across upstate New York with this round of its Community Health Award program. 

“Especially during this pandemic, our health plan’s focus is on helping address the economic and social conditions influencing the health of our community,” said Christopher C. Booth, president and CEO of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “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. 

The nonprofit organizations in the Finger Lakes region chosen to receive Excellus BCBS Community Health Awards include:   

  • 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.
  • Cameron Community Ministries, Inc., to host a family nurse practitioner (FNP) to conduct wellness checkups and health education for adults at its Wellness Center.
  • Catholic Charities of Livingston County, for its Help*Works program that provides emergency services to people living in poverty (including utility help, rent assistance, infant needs such as diapers and formula, furniture, food, gasoline voucher for employment needs). 
  • Dimitri House, Inc., to benefit its Emergency Food Cupboard and Drop-In Lunch Program; providing healthy food and beverages to community members who are experiencing the effects of poverty, including those who are homeless.
  • Hope Lutheran Church, for its Center for Hope Community Care Center that houses a permanent food pantry, medical services, job coaching and financial mentorship to provide hope and help to an underserved, low income population.
  • Junior League of Rochester, Inc., for the Junior League of Rochester Diaper Bank (JLRDB), to provide diapers and diapering supplies to partnership organizations and social workers in Monroe and surrounding counties.
  • Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc., to help fund a Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Help Specialist. The WIC Outreach program embeds a Help Specialist in Wayne and Seneca Counties to link pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, and infants and children, with vital nutrition and education support.
  • St. Peter’s Kitchen, Inc., for pantry assistance that will provide clients and their families increased access to nutritious foods.
  • Villa of Hope, to support Hope Place, a peer support program for adults experiencing difficulties with resiliency, recovery and wellness. The program offers linkages and referrals to support services ranging from health care coordination, to employment assistance, food pantry, clothing and personal needs and transportation services. 
  • Willow Domestic Violence Center of Greater Rochester, to support the Client Transportation Fund, providing transportation for victims of domestic violence residing in Willow's emergency shelter with access to health care and other community services that are necessary to help them lead healthy, violence free lives.

“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, community investments and partnerships director for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.
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.

Karen Feigel, (585) 238-4308 /

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


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