Excellus BCBS Announces Two Regional Recipients of 2021 Insurer’s Health Equity Awards
UTICA – Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has announced the recipients of its 2021 Health Equity Awards. The awards represent more than $ 388,000 in financial support the nonprofit health insurer provides to community programs that address racial and ethnic health disparities in its service area upstate of New York.
In the Utica region, a total of $ 60,000 is awarded to support the following two initiatives: the Mohawk Valley Frontiers Club and its Paths to a Healthier Me program and the Young Scholars LLP of Utica College and its Young Scholars Mental Health program Equity.
The Paths to a Healthier Me program focuses on strengthening the mental, emotional and physical well-being of students in communities of color, officials said. Through the format of a wellness program, students and their family members will discover techniques and resources such as talk therapy / workshops to address the stigma surrounding mental health treatment, racial injustices, systemic racism and finding support, as well as relaxation, stress relief tips, physical movement and personal care, officials added.
The Youth Mental Health Equity Scholarship Program provides academic support, counseling, and social and cultural enrichment throughout the year to students from diverse backgrounds and communities of color in Grades 7 to 12, have officials said.
These students and their families are part of the populations that face global disparities in health, particularly in the area of mental health. This program will provide mental health support by a licensed social worker to students and their families, officials added.
“Through these Health Equity Awards, we honor our commitment to invest in organizations that strive for fair treatment and the elimination of discrimination for all people so that they can have the opportunity to live healthier and more safe, ”said Excellus BlueCross BlueShield President and CEO Jim Reed.
“We believe we have a responsibility to lead by example and inspire positive change within our business, our industry and, in general, in the communities we serve. This work reinforces our commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access, which guides us in everything we do, ”said Reed.
Last August, Excellus BCBS invited organizations to apply for awards of up to $ 30,000 each to help fund programs aimed at improving health equity in communities of color, particularly in black communities. and latinos.
Award categories include, but are not limited to, improving the physical and mental health of the community, reducing social disparities in health care, and ensuring access to health services.
Funding from Excellus BCBS will support 18 501 (c) (3) nonprofits in 39 counties in upstate New York. With over 150 applicants, a comprehensive review process included input from people with diverse backgrounds and backgrounds to assess each proposal.
Grant recipients were selected based on clear, defined goals and measurable outcomes aimed at reducing health disparities and improving health equity.
“We are a not-for-profit health insurer with over 4,000 employees who reside in upstate New York,” said Eve Van de Wal, regional president of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Utica. “Improving the health and quality of life in the communities we share with our members supports our mission.
By funding these local initiatives, we will improve access to healthcare and advance specific healthcare
outcomes and improve health equity.
For the latest information on the health plan’s investments and community partnerships, members, providers and employers are encouraged to visit https://news.excellusbcbs.com/news-room/community-investments-partnerships.