ACR Health receives a Community Health Award from Excellus

UTICA — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently awarded a Community Health Award of $2,500 to ACR Health to help support the organization’s Transportation Assistance Program.

The program provides transportation to medical appointments, pharmacy visits, grocery shopping and social support activities to ACR Health clients who do not qualify for other transportation services.

“Data shows that lack of transportation is a major barrier to accessing health care and other needed services especially for many low income, racial/ethnic and sexual minority communities,” said Lisa Alford, ACR Health executive director.

“This program will allow our clients to keep medical appointments, pick-up medications, and participate in social activities to reduce isolation and improve their mental and physical wellbeing,” Alford said.

ACR Health is a not-for-profit, community-based organization providing an array of support services to individuals affected by a wide range of chronic diseases, including HIV/AIDS. The goal of ACR Health is to assist consumers in making informed health decisions so that they may have positive health outcomes.

The mission of ACR Health is to create healthy communities by opening doors to services that enhance the well being of all. ACR Health officials said their vision is a community in which every person has the opportunity to achieve optimal health and equality.

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 Excellus BCBS announcement said, adding 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.

“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, are vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities and we are pleased to support ACR Health with this essential community health funding,” Van de Wal added.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Utica region encompasses Clinton, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and St. Lawrence counties.,143811