Excellus BlueCross BlueShield selects seven Central New York nonprofits to receive Community Health Awards

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has chosen seven organizations from among close to 30 Central New York nonprofits that submitted applications to receive the Community Health Awards it made available in upstate New York last fall.

Each award recipient yesterday received up to $4,000 allocated by the company to help fund health and wellness programs in the company’s five-county Central New York region.


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.


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 seven nonprofit organizations in the Central New York region selected to receive Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Fall 2018 Community Health Awards are:


  • Cayuga Centers, Auburn, to provide SafeCare staff with improved technology and program participants with such household health and safety equipment as cabinet locks, safety gates, furniture wall straps, window guards, electrical outlet covers and first aid kits. SafeCare is a parent training program intended to prevent child abuse, maltreatment and neglect in Cayuga County.
  • Cayuga Community Health Network, Auburn, for a falls prevention and exercise program to help residents age 65 and older develop core strength and improve balance. Program participants will also be offered home assessments to reduce their chances of falling and provide connections with community resources or health care providers as needed.
  • Food Bank of Central New York, Syracuse, to help fund its four-part Diabetes & You series for low-income individuals at partner agencies in Onondaga, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. The educational series provides healthy foods and empowers participants to manage their diabetes and take charge of their health.
  • Helio Health, Syracuse, to purchase equipment for The Recovery Center’s fitness program, which expects to enroll 48 individuals through eight, six-week sessions held throughout the year. The Recovery Center is a drop-in community center for adults who are part of the substance use or mental health disorder recovery community.
  • REACH CNY, Syracuse, to purchase 66 Bluetooth scales for patients and caregivers involved with the Heart Failure Transitional Care Project in Onondaga County. The scales will allow the daily weights of patients to be automatically reported to their cardiac care teams, allowing them to monitor weight changes and quickly address problems.
  • Rescue Mission, Syracuse, to purchase two automated external defibrillator units for the organization’s facilities in Auburn and Binghamton. Both locations serve hundreds of men, women and children who are experiencing homelessness, at risk for homelessness, or otherwise in need.
  • Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, Oswego, to offer classes, updated training materials and CPR/AED training for the Osteo Bone Builders program volunteer trainers, and equipment and brochures for program participants. The educational exercise program helps participants rebuild bone density and improve balance through weight training and exercise.

“The company’s Community Health Awards demonstrate a corporate commitment to supporting local organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” said Jim Reed, regional president, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “These awards complement our existing grants and sponsorships with agencies that work to enhance quality of life, including health status, in upstate New York.”

Throughout its more than 80 years of providing access to high-quality, affordable health care in upstate New York, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has supported hundreds

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