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Goal of Excellus’ Health Equity Awards is to Address Disparities

Staff reports

Joseph Searles, corporate diversity relations director for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Provided photo

Nonprofits with health and wellness programs that address racial and ethnic health disparities can apply for funding through a new program of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

Health Equity Awards are grants of up to $30,000 to improve health outcomes particularly in Black and Latino communities.

Categories for health equity awards include but are not limited to the following:

  • improving the community’s physical health and mental health;
  • reducing social disparities in health care;
  • ensuring access to health care

Applications are accepted through Sept. 17.

For details, go to, scroll to “NEW! Health Equity Awards” and click “submit application.”

Health Equity Awards are part of a commitment to employees and the 31 counties served by the insurer, according to a news release announcing the awards..

“Excellus BlueCross BlueShield made a pledge to our employees, members, and communities that we will use our influence and resources to effect change,” Joseph Searles, corporate diversity relations director, said in the news release. “Through community investments such as this, we strive to improve access to care, advance specific health outcomes and support organizations in our community that share our mission.”

Applicants will be asked to identify how they will measure the success of the program and its objectives. Applicants can indicate tools, staffing, and resources needed to measure impact and reach the program goals. Excellus will follow up with recipients in six months for a report on the impact and use of funds.

Proposals with detailed scope, goals, rationale for support and measures will receive the strongest consideration, according to the news release. Winners will be announced in late October.