An inaugural group of nonprofit organizations received awards on September 25 for exemplary programming and leadership through the enterprise’s new Highmark Bright Blue Futures Awards program, made possible by the Highmark Foundation. The awardees received grants, totaling $465,000 in celebration of the award program’s theme, “A Look at Health Equity, Social Determinants of Health and Philanthropy to Advance Community Health.”
In the program’s first-ever awards and recognition ceremony nonprofits throughout Highmark Health’s footprint, which includes Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Western New York and Northeastern New York, were recognized. In addition to the awards recognition, philanthropist, neurologist, and former NFL player Dr. Myron Rolle served as keynote speaker. Dr. Rolle’s charitable work, bravery on the front lines, academic excellence and grit have been featured in top global and national outlets such as CNN, ABC News, ESPN, and CNBC. He is the founder of The Myron L. Rolle Foundation to support children and families in need and has spearheaded the creation of the Myron Rolle Wellness and Leadership Academy for foster children.
The Highmark Bright Blue Futures Awards Program launched earlier this year as an expansion of Highmark’s corporate giving and community involvement program, Highmark Bright Blue Futures. This program is designed to ensure healthier, brighter, stronger futures for all and aims to improve outcomes in Community Health and Community and Economic Resilience.
“With the introduction of the Highmark Bright Blue Futures Awards Program, we are able to celebrate the difference-making organizations that positively impact countless individuals and families,” said Kenya T. Boswell, senior vice president of Community Affairs for Highmark Health.
Highmark Foundation President Yvonne Cook added, “As a health-minded organization, we are honored to partner alongside these outstanding organizations that embody the values of the Highmark Foundation as they facilitate lasting outcomes that help improve the health and well-being of our neighbors with the support of grants like these.”
The awards program received more than 170 applications and were scored through a rigorous process. As a result, the following organizations received Highmark Bright Blue Futures Awards under each corresponding category:
Recognizing organizations’ abilities to work together cohesively to improve community health status and achieve sustainable results.
POISE Foundation (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
The POISE Foundation’s Black Equity Coalition was born during the pandemic when a group of Black leaders expressed concern about COVID-19’s impact on the Black community. The coalition has shifted its work to focus on equitable practices utilizing the social determinants of health framework as well as community organization hubs.
Recognizing programs designed to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals through innovative, novel approaches and achieving quantifiable results.
The Food Trust (Philadelphia, Pa.)
The Food Trust’s mission is delicious, nutritious food for all. Their Food Bucks Rx program provides people in underserved communities with greater access to affordable, nutritious food and information to help them take control of their health.
The Mon Health Medical Center Foundation (Morgantown, W.Va.)
Mon Health Medical Center’s Progressing Through Postpartum (P3) Program provides comprehensive support through an integrated health framework for mothers who may be experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Launched in 2020, P3 is the first of its kind in West Virginia.
Recognizing organizations focused on improving health in the communities they serve through the lens of health equity and social determinants of health.
Mainstay Life Services (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Mainstay Life Services’ mission is to provide life-long, high-quality support services, ensuring that people with intellectual disabilities and autism lead fulfilling lives. It was recognized for a project that promotes the health, wellness, safety, and independence for people living with intellectual disabilities and autism.
A match award recognizing a philanthropic organization whose leadership advances innovative solutions and demonstrates meaningful progress toward community health issues.
Phoenixville Community Health Foundation (Phoenixville, Pa.)
PCHF works to improve the health and quality of life for people in its community. Though partnership with the Phoenixville Free Clinic, PCHF has demonstrated a commitment to increase equitable access to quality health and human services to the uninsured and underserved.
The following organizations received mini grants through the program’s Rising Star awards, recognizing organizations and programs that have demonstrated promise through unique ideas to impact community health. The list of awardees is below:
AIDS Resource Alliance, Inc. (Williamsport, Pa.)
American Red Cross (Buffalo, NY)
Children’s Therapy Clinic, Inc. (Charleston, W.Va.)
Delaware Regional Dream Center (Newark, Del.)
Homeless Children’s Education Fund (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Lori’s Hands, Inc. (Newark, Del.)
MAYA Organization (Swissvale, Pa.)
The Open Door Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Seneca Street Community Development Corporation (Buffalo, NY)
Stitch Buffalo (Buffalo, NY)
Focus on Renewal Sto-Rox Neighborhood Corporatione (McKees Rocks, Pa.)
For more information about Highmark Bright Blue Futures, visit www.highmark.com/brightbluefutures.
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