Close this search box.

Get our email updates

Stay up-to-date on the companies, people and issues that impact businesses in Syracuse, Central New York and beyond.


Excellus announces community health awards for seven CNY nonprofits

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is seeking applications from nonprofit organizations in its 14-county Utica/North Country region for community health awards of up to $4,000. The Rochester–based health insurer has announced $55,000 is available for those grants. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN file photo)

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has chosen seven Central New York nonprofit organizations for its community health awards.

Rochester–based Excellus, Central New York’s largest health insurer, considered proposals from 60 applicants, the health insurer said in a news release.

Each award recipient will use a grant of up to $4,000 to help fund health and wellness programs.


Through a competitive application process, Excellus’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. Excellus selects winning organizations based on the proposed program’s “scope of need, goals and the number of people expected to benefit from it,” the health insurer said.

The seven nonprofit organizations in the Central New York region selected to receive Excellus community health awards include:  

Prevention Network of Syracuse plans to use its funding to purchase 265 drug-deactivation kits for distribution among families across Onondaga County. The kits include a “proprietary” activated carbon system to safely dispose of unused prescription medications. Distribution will take place at 15 community health, wellness and substance abuse prevention events that will be held this year.

WCNY (the Public Broadcasting Council of Central New York) in Syracuse will utilize its funding to offer “Food and Fun Fridays” summer programming at its broadcast and education center on Syracuse’s Near Westside. On the two Fridays before Labor Day, the organization will offer two hours of “entertaining, educational” programming for children, culminating with children packing bags of healthy foods to take home for the weekend and beyond.

Clear Path for Veterans, of Chittenango, will allocate its funding for a “Cooking for Better Health” program. It’ll help people who are veterans, on active duty, in the Reserves or the National Guard and their families to learn how to cook healthy meals made with “fresh, locally-sourced” ingredients. The goal is to help prevent the onset of chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Auburn YMCA-WEIU will use its award to establish a 12-week, strength training and aerobic-exercise program to help people who have diabetes. The program will those affected reach the American Diabetes Association’s recommendations for exercise. The goal is to lower participants’ need for medication and to prevent the possibility of future complications.

Cortland Regional Medical Center plans to utilize its funding for a smoking-cessation program for pregnant women. Participants must attend at least four of six, free smoking-cessation sessions. As long as the women remain smoke-free, they receive $25 in free diapers each month for six to 12 months postpartum.

Foodnet Meals on Wheels in Ithaca will use its grant to add “nutrient-dense” items to nearly 700 daily meals that the organization delivers to more than 400 older adults and others in need in Tompkins County. The items include grains, beans, and fiber-enriched fruits and vegetables. The goal is to “promote nutritional health and alleviate inadequate nutrient intake among the population served.”

Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County in Ithaca will allocate its funding to further the health planning council’s (HPC) red folder project. The HPC is a program of the Human Services Coalition. The council will create and distribute large, red folders that patients can use to better track and manage all of their “relevant” health information. That includes medication lists, discharge papers, health-care proxy forms, personal-health records, appointment reminders, and physician contact numbers.

Contact Reinhardt at


Get our email updates

Stay up-to-date on the companies, people and issues that impact businesses in Syracuse, Central New York and beyond.

Essential business news, thoughtful analysis and valuable insights for Central New York business leaders.

Copyright © 2023 Central New York Business Journal. All Rights Reserved.