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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield selects Nazareth College to share in Community Health Awards totaling $108,000

Published May 07, 2019

Nazareth College is among 11 nonprofit Rochester area organizations receiving Excellus BlueCross BlueShield's Community Health Awards to help improve the community's health.

Nazareth will receive up to $4,000 to help support 13 Head Start Hearing Screenings for approximately 750 Head Start students throughout the greater Rochester area. Excellus BCBS is donating almost $108,000 to 33 nonprofits across upstate New York with this round of its Community Health Award program.

Nazareth offers undergraduate and graduate degrees related to speech pathology. Graduates of the undergraduate program — communications sciences and disorders — have high acceptance rates into graduate programs in speech pathology or audiology.

"The grants demonstrate a corporate commitment to supporting local organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan," said Holly Snow, director of community health engagement for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

Awards focus on improving the health status of the community, reducing the incidence of specific diseases, promoting health education and enhancing overall wellness. Winning organizations are selected based on the proposed program's scope of need, goals and the number of people expected to benefit from it.

The other nonprofit organizations in the Finger Lakes region chosen to receive Excellus BCBS Community Health Awards include:

  • Angel Care Ministry of St. Marianne Cope Parish, to supply new and expectant mothers in need with portable baby beds and other newborn necessities to ensure babies have a safe place to sleep when they arrive home from the hospital.
  • Asbury First United Methodist Church, to support the UR Well Clinic, an outreach program within the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry that offers free acute health care to uninsured and underserved adults.
  • Celebration of Life Community Inc., to benefit the Help Me Read one-on-one tutoring program at School #17 in Rochester. Volunteer tutors are paired with children in grades 1-6 to provide additional reading support and mentoring.
  • House of Mercy, Health & Wellness Program, to provide CPR, first aid, and opioid overdose training, as well as first aid kits to help treat homeless individuals who visit the House of Mercy's drop-in emergency services.
  • Jefferson Family Health Fund, to support the Magnolia Children's Community Garden, which brings healthy, fresh produce to the food desert of Rochester's inner city.
  • Medical Motor Service of Rochester and Monroe County, Inc., to help address the needs of the chronically homeless in the Rochester area with funding for the MMS Homeless Shuttle, a late-night program to provide food, health care, and overnight housing.
  • Mt. Hope Family Center, funding to support the Building Healthy Children program and provide teen mothers entering the program with welcome bags that include parenting and child health resource information and developmentally-appropriate baby items.
  • United Way of Seneca County, Inc., funding will help increase access to treatment through Seneca County Substance Abuse Coalition which provides transportation opportunities to attend mental health and substance abuse treatment and programs.
  • Wilson Commencement Park, to support the newly redesignedYouth Development Program offering year-round structured educational and recreational opportunities for children of its residential community.
  • Witness Project of Western New York, to support its culturally competent, community-based breast cancer education program for African American women. Funding will provide 10 breast health education programs in Monroe County. The Witness Project educates on early cancer detection through stories told by area breast cancer survivors.
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Julie Long | Chief PR Officer | 585-389-2456 or

Nazareth College’s academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts. The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester, N.Y., challenges and supports 2,300 undergrads and 700 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon arts and sciences core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life’s work.