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Excellus announces Health Equity award recipients 

Excellus announces Health Equity award recipients 

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently announced the recipients of its 2022 Health Equity awards, which represent more than $560,000 in financial support for community programs that address racial and ethnic health disparities across its upstate New York service area. 


Earlier this year, Excellus BCBS invited organizations to apply for awards of up to $30,000 each to help fund programs to improve health equity in communities of color, especially within Black and Latino communities. These segments continue to suffer from health care and social disadvantages due to racism and discrimination, the agency noted. 

Award categories included improving the community’s physical health and mental health, reducing social disparities in health care and ensuring access to health care services.  

Excellus BCBS Health Equity Award funding will support seven initiatives in the Rochester region. They are:  

  • Agape Haven of Abundance: Youth Empowerment is a free community- based education program providing urban youth an opportunity to learn skills that support healthy development and aim to reduce at-risk behaviors; 
  •  Boys & Girls Club of Geneva, Inc.: The First Thousand Days program was developed to support families with newborns, meeting an important community need; 
  • David’s Refuge: Provides mental health counseling services to improve health equity and increase support for full-time, unpaid family caregivers; 
  • EnCompass Resources for Learning: Created an alliance for Rochester youth from the EnCompass Future Ready program in collaboration with the University of Rochester Medical Center Department of Surgery, city of Rochester and Black Men Achieve. The project will engage youth as co-creators of solutions through 100 hours of educational, mentoring, data collection and outreach programming to contribute to public health addressing community violence; 
  • Ibero-American Action League Inc.: Centro de Oro (Golden Center) serves as an educational center and a gathering place for seniors to meet their social and cultural needs. The focus of the program is to address social isolation and improve well-being by offering both therapeutic services and health assessments to link seniors with the resources and services they need; 
  • Nativity Preparatory Academy of Rochester: The extended day program seeks to enhance Nativity Prep’s tuition-free academic programming by providing students who lack resources with after-school, weekend and summer programs in a safe, nurturing and productive environment, and 
  • Pivital Public Health Partnership: Mental Health Matters is a community education program designed to reduce health disparities by making mental health awareness and support a priority throughout rural Finger Lakes communities. 

“This second round of Health Equity Award funding will support underserved people with health disadvantages due to race, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender and/or rural disparities,” says Gina Cuyler, MD, Excellus BCBS vice president of health equity and community investments.  “We are proud to align our resources and efforts to partner and identify areas of collaboration with our local community organizations.” 

[email protected] / (585) 653-4021