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BlueCross BlueShield of WNY issues $2.7 million in grant awards

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York awarded $2.7 million in grant funding to nine health-based projects across Western New York on Wednesday in what the company is billing as "Blue Fund" awards.

"We're investing in initiatives that address important needs in our community to create a healthier state for everyone," said David W. Anderson, president and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.

The grants are awarded "from the health plan's strong reserves," according to the company's statement.

The nine inaugural recipients of Blue Fund awards are:

  • Community Connections of New York: $224,699 towards the expansion of Positive Emotional Development and Learning Skills (PEDALS), a program for preschool-age children in the Southern Tier that will benefit approximately 380 children over a two-year funding period.
  • The Horizon Corporations: $500,000 to support construction of the Training and Family Center, a new multipurpose building that will host training for behavioral health workers, provide programming for family members whose loved ones are in residential addition treatment centers, and develop after-care programs for people completing residential addiction treatment.
  • Jericho Road Ministries: $303,279 to support the Medically Oriented Gym program in the ministries' fitness center, which addresses the lack of access to fitness facilities on Buffalo's East Side.
  • KaBOOM!: $300,000 to support a community-built playground for two "economically challenged Western New York communities."
  • Visiting Nursing Association of Western New York: $500,000 to launch a Nurse Residency Program in which local graduate nurses will be hired and effectively trained and prepared for a career in home care; funds will also be used for a mentor program and equipment upgrades.
  • Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo: $200,000 for the expansion of emergency access to medication-assisted treatment for patients with opioid-use disorder as well as rapid referral to long-term treatment.
  • Save the Michaels of the World, Inc.: $100,000 to support the Court to Treatment Transportation Program, which transports individuals who are being sentenced to inpatient rehabilitation facilities. In partnership with the New York State court system, this program will be expanded to 44 courts in Western New York.
  • Say Yes Buffalo: $298,848 to support a school-based health home-care management program that places Say Yes health home care managers in Buffalo Public schools.
  • Western New York Land Conservancy, Inc.: $246,000 to support the design and implementation of the DL&W multi-use trail and linear park in the abandoned DL&W rail corridor that will connect downtown Buffalo near Canalside to the Buffalo River at RiverBend, through the Old First Ward, Perry and Valley neighborhoods.

The Blue Fund grants program was announced in July. For more information about the 2019 grant cycle submission and selection process, visit bcbswny.com/bluefund.

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