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Clear Path for Veterans receives Excellus BCBS Health and Wellness Award



Source: The Chronicle Express.

CHITTENANGO, N.Y. — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently awarded Clear Path for Veterans Inc. a $5,000 Health and Wellness Award to support the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Homefront: Mental Health Resources for Military Service Members, Veterans, and their Families program.

This six-session educational program is designed to assist families, caregivers and friends of military service members and veterans impacted by mental health conditions. Trained family members of service members and veterans lead the sessions helping participants learn to manage stress, support their family member, access services, and stay informed on the latest developments in mental health including treatments and therapies. The program assists those experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression, and substance use disorder.  Participants receive training to help navigate the challenges of mental health conditions, manage crisis, solve problems, and communicate effectively.

“Recovery is a journey and there is hope for all people affected by mental health conditions, including veterans and military service members,” shares Alex Behm, Clear Path New York executive director. “NAMI Homefront provides the opportunity for mutual support and shared positive impact. Program participants experience compassion and reinforcement from people who relate to their experiences. And through their participation, they have the opportunity to help others grow.”

Clear Path for Veterans’ mission is to enrich the lives of veterans while addressing the wellness and social issues they face through community, programming, and direct services. Veterans are provided the opportunity to connect, restore and grow.

Excellus BCBS’s Health and Wellness Awards support programs that conduct ongoing work or initiatives designed to improve community health and health outcomes. Health disparities are complex and can have many causes. These awards are given to programs that address specific health conditions or factors linked to health disparities. The funding for NAMI Homefront was provided jointly by Excellus BCBS’s Central New York and Utica regions.

“The Health and Wellness Awards demonstrate our corporate commitment to support local organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” says Eve Van de Wal, Excellus BCBS Utica regional president. “We are proud to support Clear Path for Veterans with this essential community health funding that supports the mental health and wellbeing of our service members and veterans.”

“It’s critical to our local community of veterans, service members, and their families in Central New York that they have access to mental health resources when and where they need them,” adds Mark Muthumbi, Excellus BCBS Central New York regional president. “We’re excited for this opportunity to support Clear Path in their mission to provide these important services.”

Excellus BCBS is committed to supporting local organizations that improve community health. The company’s corporate giving follows all applicable laws and regulations and provides support funding to organizations aligned with its corporate mission, goals, policies or products.

Excellus BCBS’s Utica region encompasses Clinton, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and St. Lawrence counties; the Central New York region includes Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga, Cortland and Tompkins counties.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company’s mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With more than 4,200 employees, 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. To learn more, visit


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