Rochester, NY

Excellus BCBS addresses health disparities in upstate New York with Health Equity Award Funding

Nonprofit organizations are invited to apply beginning August 15

Recognizing structural racism as a driving force of health inequities, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield invites nonprofit organizations to apply for their Health Equity Awards. The awards help fund health and wellness programs that address racial and ethnic health disparities in upstate New York. The application period opens at 10 a.m. on Monday, August 15, and closes at 11:59 p.m., Thursday, September 15.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has the health of its communities at the center of everything it does. The Health Plan works with community partners to confront the crisis in health disparities, embrace and address long-standing gaps in care, and bridge health equity gaps in our underserved communities. Hence it funds programs that improve access to care, advance specific health outcomes and support organizations in our community that share the mission.

Nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organizations in Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s service area are invited to apply for Health Equity Awards. Application proposals must include clear, defined goals for reducing health disparities and improving health equity for people that face a higher burden of health inequities and social disadvantages. Organizations will be required to specify how funding will measurably assist in improving racial and ethnic health equity outcomes. Health Equity categories include, but are not limited to:

  • Reducing health disparities in racial, ethnic, LGBTQ communities, people with disabilities, people living in rural or urban communities, or other groups of people that may be at a higher health risk for:
    • Medical issues and conditions (chronic or acute)
    • Behavioral health or mental health conditions
    • Negative outcomes from the above, including death or suicide

For additional information and the online application, please visit, scroll to the Health Equity Awards and click Submit Application. Proposals that have detailed scope, goals, rationale for support, and measures will receive the strongest consideration. Award winners will be announced mid-November.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield operates in 31 upstate New York counties, organized into four regions: the Rochester region, encompassing Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne and Yates counties; the Central New York region, which includes Cayuga, Cortland, Onondaga, Oswego and Tompkins counties; the Southern Tier region, including Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Tioga, Schuyler and Steuben counties; and the Utica region, comprising Clinton, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and St. Lawrence counties.

The company’s corporate giving follows all applicable laws and regulations and does not support funding organizations that conflict with its corporate mission, goals, policies or products.

Joy Auch, (585) 238-4374

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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