Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Excellus BCBS awards grants to address maternal health disparities 

Excellus BCBS awards grants to address maternal health disparities 

Listen to this article

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield announced this week the first round of recipients of Member and Community Health Improvement grants to improve maternal health and health equity in upstate New York.  


Eight nonprofit organizations in the health plan’s 39-county service area will share $1 million in grant funding over the next three years. 

Two organizations in the Rochester region were chosen to receive MACHI grants, including:   

  • Child & Family Resource Center Inc.’s Healthy Families program serving families and young children in Ontario, Seneca and Yates counties. The program offers support services to expectant and new parents, and
  • Mount Hope Family Center’s Building Healthy Children program, providing home-based interventions for teen moms to address maternal mental health, parenting and child development and trauma. 

Earlier this year, Excellus BCBS invited organizations to apply for MACHI grants to fund programs to eliminate racial, health and geographical disparities and that support of the National Maternal Health Equity Strategy endorsed by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. 

“We have an opportunity and a responsibility to confront the nation’s crisis in maternal health disparities,” said Gina Cuyler, M.D., Excellus BCBS vice president of health equity and community investments. “With this first installment of award funding, community organizations will have greater capabilities to support safe pregnancies and childbirth, eliminate pregnancy-related health disparities and improve health outcomes for new mothers and babies.” 

Black, Latina and Asian women have higher rates of severe maternal morbidity than white women, regardless of age or type of health insurance, according to a recent study of racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health issued by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. 

“New parents will be able to access much needed, concrete health and safety supports, community resources and helpful child development tools that will strengthen their ability to successfully provide a safe and nurturing environment for their infant to grow,” said Julie Champion, Child and Family Resource Center’s executive director. “Investments like this recognize that healthy communities start with healthy infants, children and families.” 

Six additional nonprofit organizations outside of the Rochester region will receive funding and include: Contact Community Services, Gerard Place, Integrated Community Alternatives Network, Jericho Road Community Health Center, Mohawk Valley Health System and Mothers & Babies Perinatal Network. 

[email protected] / (585) 653-4021