In its first year of grantmaking, the charitable foundation affiliated with BlueCross BlueShield of Western New Yorkawarded $2.7 million to nine health-based projects across the region.
First announced this summer, the health plan’s first round of grants will address behavioral health, cardiovascular health, diabetes, health-care workforce development, healthy children and the opioid epidemic. CEO David Anderson said the organization will invest in initiatives that address important needs in the community.
“These and future Blue Fund grants will enhance local organizations and efforts that address barriers to health and improve key health outcomes,” he said.
• The Horizon Corporations, $500,000 for a training and family center to provide advanced training for behavioral health workers, programming for family members and after-care programs for people completing residential addictions treatment.
• Visiting Nursing Association of Western New York, $500,000 to launch a nurse residency program for home care nurses.
• Jericho Road Ministries, $303,279 to support a medically-oriented gym program and community fitness center to improve access on Buffalo’s East Side and address the effects and costs of chronic disease.
• KaBOOM!, $300,000 to support community-built playgrounds in two economically challenged local communities.
• Say Yes Buffalo, $298,848 for a school-based health home-care management program in Buffalo Public schools, including referrals, care coordination and patient and family supports.
• Western New York Land Conservancy Inc., $246,000 to support a DL&W multi-use trail and linear park connecting downtown Buffalo to the Buffalo River at Riverbend.
• Community Connections of New York Inc., $224,699 to help expand Positive Emotional Development and Learning Skills (PEDALS) in the Southern Tier.
• Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, $200,000 to expand a hospital emergency department program providing medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and referrals to community-based addictions treatment.
• Save the Michaels of the World Inc., $100,000 to expand its Court to Treatment Transportation Program to 44 courts in Western New York.
Funding for the grants comes from BCBS’s reserves, and comes in addition to corporate partnerships and sponsorships, which last year exceeded $2 million. BCBS is part of HealthNow New York, the region’s largest health plan. With about a million members across Western New York and the Capital region, the company ended 2017 with $55 million in net income on revenue of nearly $2.5 billion.
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