Buffalo, NY BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York has awarded $2.5 million in grants to 12 major health-based projects across Western New York that will have a positive impact on behavioral health, cardiovascular health, diabetes, health-care workforce development, healthy children, and the opioid epidemic.  

These grants follow a $2.7 million investment from the Blue Fund in 2018 that supported nine projects that are already benefitting the community. This includes the completion of two new playground builds at Mayors Park in North Tonawanda and Martin Luther King Jr. Park in the City of Buffalo; the opening of a medically-oriented gym at Jericho Road; and the design and programming of the Western New York Land Conservancy’s DL&W Corridor Trail.  

“As the region’s largest not-for-profit health plan, we’re committed to supporting initiatives that strengthen and enrich our community,” said David W. Anderson, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York president and CEO. “Western New York has already seen positive and tangible health outcomes from last year’s Blue Fund grant recipients, and we know that this year’s grants will only further that impact.” 

The community-based health plan 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.

These grants, funded from the health plan’s strong reserves, were awarded in addition to the health plan’s current corporate partnerships and sponsorships, which saw investments of more than $2 million in Western New York in 2018. 

Below are the recipients of the 2019 Blue Fund awards:

Willie Hutch Jones Educational & Sports Programs Amount Awarded: $100,000

Purpose: English as a second language (ESL) professionals will educate students on the benefits of proper health and fitness lifestyles in their native languages. The initiative will develop student recruitment aids and replicate successful current programming including Math Club, STEAM Camp for Girls, STEAM activities, soccer, chess, dance, tennis, golf, basketball, swimming, volleyball, football, and crew.

Focus areas: healthy children; behavioral health

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