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The Center receives Community Health Award

Posted 8/31/22

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently awarded the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (The Center) a Community Health Award of $5,000 to support transportation assistance.

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The Center receives Community Health Award

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UTICA — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently awarded the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (The Center) a Community Health Award of $5,000 to support transportation assistance for diverse communities. This program provides access to transportation for refugees, immigrants and newcomers to the area through Centro bus passes. Clients of The Center can use this program to get to work, medical appointments, or services for mental health.

“The Center is committed to providing the support and services necessary for diverse populations to integrate into the community and become contributing and engaged members of the Mohawk Valley,” said Jennifer VanWagoner, manager of grants and community engagement. “Transportation assistance for diverse communities will allow refugees and immigrants to access programs and community resources, employment opportunities and health services that contribute to the overall wellbeing of these individuals and their families.”

The Center has been the main service provider for refugees in Central New York for over 40 years and has assisted over 17,000 refugees from 36 different countries to start new lives in this region. The Center is a distinctive resettlement agency that not only provides comprehensive resettlement services but also has a wide range of programs and services that further support integration of refugees and immigrants into the community. Their mission is to assist refugees, immigrants, and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) individuals throughout the integration process and help them achieve independence and self-sufficiency by developing products and services that enable The Center to build a community with many cultures.

Through a competitive application process, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards provide funding to launch, expand, and sustain programs and services that promote health. Officials say these investments advance health equity by extending the reach of preventive health services or health-promoting programs to vulnerable populations.

“The company’s Community Health Awards demonstrate a corporate commitment to support local organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” said Eve Van de Wal, Utica regional president of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “We recognize that addressing social determinants of health, such as transportation availability, is vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities and we are pleased to support The Center’s transportation assistance for diverse communities program with this essential community health funding.”

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Utica region encompasses Clinton, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and St. Lawrence counties.

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