Highmark Blue Shield Awards $425,000 in Blue Fund Grants to Health-Based Projects
Brings Blue Fund’s Total Investment in Capital Region Organizations to more than $1.5 Million
Latham, N.Y. – Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York Blue Fund today announced $425,000 in grants to support four major health-based projects across the Capital Region that will have a positive impact on behavioral health, cardiovascular health, health care workforce development and healthy children.
2021 Blue Fund grant recipients include The Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Med; Comfort Food of Washington County; Saratoga Hospital Foundation; and St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation.
“Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York is dedicated to improving the health, well-being, and quality of life for individuals who reside in the communities we serve,” said Keith Dolan, Regional Executive, Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York. “Our Blue Fund grants support organizations who work collaboratively to address barriers to health, ultimately enhancing the overall health of our region.”
In 2020, the community-based, not-for-profit health insurer pivoted its traditional Blue Fund grant cycle to support the most critical and immediate community needs as a result of the pandemic. This included a $150,000 donation to the Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund. In total, Highmark Blue Shield Blue Fund invested $300,000 into the Community in 2020.
Highmark Blue Shield launched the Blue Fund in July 2018, to support organizations and initiatives that work collaboratively to address key health areas and demonstrate enhanced measurable outcomes for the community. This cycle of grants, which are generated from the company’s investment reserves, not members’ premiums, brings the local health plan’s total investment through Blue Fund to more than $1.5 million.
Additionally, Highmark Blue Shield invested a total of $151,150 in 28 non-profit organizations in Northeastern New York in in the first half of 2021 for partnerships and sponsorships, supporting the region’s health.
Below are the recipients of the 2021 Blue Fund Grants:
The Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Med
Amount awarded: $100,000
Purpose: To support Albany Med CARES for Kids. The project will establish Albany Med Community Access Resources Education Support (CARES) for Kids, a mental health program that provides psychological support and screening at community sites, including schools and community centers, for underserved children and families residing in the Capital Region.
Comfort Food of Washington County
Amount awarded: $125,000
Purpose: To support Community Food Processing Kitchen. The project will construct, equip, and operate a commercial food processing kitchen to support Farm to School program for five local school districts as well as continued distribution to low-income families through the agency network in Washington, Warren, and Saratoga counties.
Saratoga Hospital Foundation
Amount awarded: $100,000
Purpose: To support Establishing Saratoga Hospital as a New York State Designated Primary Stroke Center. The project will enhance and expand stroke services for residents of the Saratoga Region by supporting education, equipment, and certification costs associated with establishing Saratoga Hospital as a Joint Commission-American Heart Association certified and a NYS Designated Primary Stroke Center.
St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation
Amount awarded: $100,000
Purpose: To support Feeding a Healthy Future. The project will address childhood obesity by providing opportunities for physical activity, education on healthy food choices, and proper dental care, as well as increased access to healthy food for youth from low-income households.
To learn more about Blue Fund, visit www.bsneny.com/bluefund.
About Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York
Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York is a trade name of Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Since 1946, Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York has helped millions of people lead healthier lives. Blue Shield offers a full range of insured, self-insured, and government programs and services covering businesses, families, and individuals, as well as dental and vision plans and stop-loss coverage. As a community-based, not-for-profit health plan, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield contributes significantly to organizations that strengthen and enrich the health of the community.
About Blue Fund
Blue Fund, funded solely by Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York, awards major grants in the Capital Region, totaling approximately $100,000 to $200,000 annually, to organizations and initiatives that have a positive impact on key health areas and will demonstrate enhanced measurable outcomes for community health metrics. These include behavioral health, cardiovascular health, health care workforce development and healthy children. Blue Fund complements Blue Shield's current corporate giving program of partnerships and sponsorships which saw community investments of more than $250,000 in Northeastern New York in 2020.