Univera Healthcare announces the recipients of its 2022 Health Equity Awards. The awards represent more than $120,000 in financial support the nonprofit health insurer is providing to community programs that address racial and ethnic health disparities across Western New York.

Gina Cuyler, MD FACP

“This second round of Health Equity Award funding will help our communities reduce health disparities and improve health equity among underserved people with health disadvantages due to race, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender and/or rural disparities,” says Gina Cuyler, MD, Univera Healthcare vice president of health equity and community investments. “We are proud to align our resources and efforts to partner and identify areas of collaboration with our local community organizations.”

Earlier this year, Univera Healthcare invited organizations to apply for awards of up to $30,000 each to help fund programs to improve health equity in communities of color, especially within Black and Latino communities. These segments of the community continue to suffer from health care and social disadvantages due to racism and discrimination. Award categories include, but were not limited to, improving the community’s physical health and mental health, reducing social disparities in health care, and ensuring access to health care services.

The funding from Univera Healthcare will support six nonprofits, 501(c)(3) organizations in Western New York that were chosen after a comprehensive review process that included input from individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to assess each proposal. Grant recipients were selected based on clear, defined goals and measurable results for reducing health disparities and improving health equity.

Award winners include:

BestSelf Behavioral Health, Inc.: The mission of the Child Advocacy Center at BestSelf is to integrate and coordinate services to meet the needs of child victims of sexual and physical abuse and their families at a single, child-friendly facility. Such response helps reduce trauma, promote accountability, and facilitate healing.

ConnectLife: This grant will support the establishment of a new Minority Donation and Transplant Stakeholders Council to provide input to ConnectLife leadership and staff regarding cultural competency issues relating to organ, eye, and tissue donation. This will include health literacy and health equity concerns specific to minority populations and ethnic groups within the organization’s Western New York service area.

ECMC Foundation: The Remote Patient Monitoring Program aims to improve blood pressure in the primary care patient population, and the diagnosis of those with elevated blood pressure who are unaware of their status so that they can be treated, and their blood pressure can be controlled.

Neighborhood Health Center: Neighborhood Health Center will help improve the health outcomes for patients who are pregnant and their infants by establishing a Maternal-Infant Health Community Health Worker and Care Coordination training program.

UPMC Chautauqua: This project will provide access to telehealth services for patients receiving care through the outpatient behavioral health department who may have transportation or access to internet challenges.

Warrior House of WNY: The goal of the Aging Strong Program is to promote physical health among senior adults (age 55 and older) through a community-based fitness and nutrition program that informs and empowers older adults to make healthy choices about eating and safely increase their physical activity levels.

For the latest information on Univera Healthcare’s community investments and partnerships, members, providers, and employers are encouraged to visit https://news.univerahealthcare.com/news-room/community-investments-partnerships.