Univera Healthcare announced the recipients of its 2023 Health Equity Innovation Awards today. The awards represent more than $112,000 in financial support the nonprofit health insurer is providing to community programs that address racial and ethnic health disparities across the Western New York Region.
“At Univera Healthcare, our mission is to help people lead heathier more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care.” said Simone E. Edwards, DrPH, MPH, vice president of health equity and community investments. “We’re committed to community partnerships and using our resources to support initiatives that directly target health disparities, promote access to care, and address the underlying social determinants of health, to help ensure everyone can reach their full potential.”
Earlier this year, Univera Healthcare invited organizations to apply for awards of up to $30,000 each to help fund initiatives, programs, and research that specifically target the root causes of health inequities, with a focus on addressing structural racism. Award categories include, but were not limited to, improving the community’s physical and mental health, reducing social disparities in health care, and ensuring access to health care services.
The funding from Univera Healthcare will support seven nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organizations across Western New York, that were chosen after a comprehensive review process which included input from individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to assess each proposal. Award recipients were selected based on clear, defined goals and measurable results for reducing health disparities and improving health equity.
Award winners include:
- Daemen University-Health Equity Training: Program will provide cultural and linguistic diversity training for health care educators to develop authentic learning experiences to foster cross-cultural understanding among students and providers.
- Houghton University-Mental Health and Wellness in Rural Higher Education: Program will support mental health and wellness counselors providing a series of events and programs aimed to help students develop positive behavioral health practices, learn about mental health issues, develop positive peer mentoring relationships and access to immediate counseling services.
- Community Connections-Reducing Healthcare Disparities in Rural Chautauqua County: Program will address health disparities in rural Chautauqua County through their community health advocate and home companion programs and support nurses and aids working with residents in their homes.
- Buffalo Urban League-Maternal Health Empowerment and Education: Program will enhance minority women’s sense of empowerment through increased knowledge, advocacy for self and baby, and access to all aspects of maternal health to promote positive outcomes reduce maternal morbidity and mortality rates.
- Community Access Services-Community Food Pantry: The food pantry will offer comprehensive food and nutrition services and the purchase of food storage and preparation items, as well as fresh and frozen foods to supplement pantry choices beyond shelf-stable foods. CAS will also partner with Feed More WNY to offer nutrition education workshops to pantry clients.
- YMCA-Taking Action to Improve Health in New York state: The YMCA’s Virtual Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program: The virtual blood pressure self-monitoring program will provide community members with the tools, education, and guidance to better manage their blood pressure, while eliminating barriers such as transportation, mobility limitations, distance from health services and childcare needs.
- Healing Hub of NY, Inc.- BIPOC Peer Capacity Building: Program will increase the number of family peer advocates in WNY by providing support for individuals to engage in the peer advocate certification process and receive necessary supports around preparing for the exam and complete necessary training hours for certification.
For the latest information on Univera Healthcare’s community investments and partnerships, visit https://news.univerahealthcare.com/community.
Kandis Fuller, APR, Kandis.Fuller@univerahealthcare.com
Univera Healthcare is a nonprofit health plan that serves members across the eight counties of Western New York. With more than 500 Buffalo-based employees and a local leadership team, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. Univera is part of a Rochester-based health insurer that serves more than 1.5 million members across upstate New York. Its mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care, and its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. To learn more, visit UniveraHealthcare.com.