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Local News: Upstate Family Health Center Receives Excellus BCBS Community Health Award

UTICA, N.Y. — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently awarded Upstate Family Health Center a Community Health Award of $2,500 to support their School-based Integrated Health Program. This funding will allow for the expansion of the School-based Integrated Health Program to include occupational therapy services and vision assessments for children served by the School-based Health Centers in Utica, Rome, and Waterville.

Upstate Family Health Center’s School-based Integrated Health Program serves 1,300 children, many of whom require a comprehensive neurological vision assessment. “We anticipate providing neurological vision assessments for approximately 150 children,” said John Milligan, Upstate Family Health Center CEO. “The assessments will help identify children that may benefit from occupational therapy for neurological vision retraining. We are then able to provide them with occupational therapy to improve their functional vision and as a result, improve their social and emotional wellbeing and academic performance.”

Upstate Family Health Center (UFHC) is a non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that provides primary care to support the most vulnerable and high-risk residents of the Mohawk Valley. UFHC’s mission is to improve the overall health and well-being of the community by providing accessible, comprehensive, high quality primary care to all people without discrimination and regardless of ability to pay. In 2021, UFHC provided over 25,000 appointments for 7,400 unique individuals.

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. These investments advance health equity by extending the reach of preventive health services or health-promoting programs to vulnerable populations.

The health plan’s corporate giving follows all applicable laws and regulations and does not support funding organizations that conflict with its corporate mission, goals, policies, or products.

“Providing access to high-quality health care is core to our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” states Eve Van de Wal, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Utica regional president. “We are proud to support Upstate Family Health Center with essential community health funding to improve access to vision assessments and occupational therapy services through their school-based health centers.”


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