BCBS contributes $1M to WNY COVID-19 fund

To address the growing needs in WNY as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York’s Blue Fund recently announced a corporate donation of $900,000 in additional funding to the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund, bringing the Blue Fund’s total investment to $1 million.

As a founding corporate funder of the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund, BlueCross BlueShield’s initial $100,000 contribution helped launched the fund in March 2020 — in collaboration with other philanthropic organizations — to address the most immediate community needs. Now, as the crisis continues to unfold, the region’s leading health plan is pivoting its traditional 2020 Blue Fund grant cycle to support recovery and rebuilding efforts in Buffalo-Niagara through an additional $900,000 donation to the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund.

“BlueCross BlueShield has a longstanding legacy of giving back to the communities we serve, and we are proud to support efforts that can effectively address the evolving needs of Western New York families, individuals and organizations during this difficult time,” said David W. Anderson, president and CEO, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. “Together we will rebuild our community and come back stronger than ever.”

The giving is coordinated by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, The John R. Oishei Foundation, and the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County.

To date, the funds supported initiatives that address social determinants of health and other challenges raised by COVID-19 in the areas of food security, housing, health care, childcare, mental health, transportation and other emergency services. Going forward, the effort is evolving into a “Build Back Better” initiative to support developing strategies focused on recovery efforts through collaborative systems work.

“The sudden arrival of the COVID-19 crisis necessitated an immediate response to meet the significant need in the community with everyone working together on solutions. We are grateful that BlueCross BlueShield has continued to generously contribute more resources in this collaborative effort that has already granted out $6.6 million to support more than 156 organizations in Western New York working on the frontlines at this time of great need,” said Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, president and CEO of Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.