Upstate Family Health Center Receives Health and Wellness Award

We recently awarded the Upstate Family Health Center (UFHC) a $5,000 Health and Wellness Award to support their Low Barrier Emergency Food Cupboard. This program was created to provide patients in need with balanced food bags for individuals presenting to the clinic in need.

“This generous donation will have a major impact in helping us meet our goal of providing our patients with balanced meals,” said Torie Hairston, senior director of integrated health at Upstate Family Health Center. “What sets this program apart is the fact that we have made the food supplies available, while eliminating barriers such as showing identification and providing documentation. This eliminates stigmas and embarrassment which can often prevent individuals from seeking help.”

UFHC created the cupboard after an evaluation of patient needs indicated a prevalence of food in-security. Food insecurity is associated with lower school performance for children, low physical activity, poor general physical health and illness, and poor mental health.

Food insecurity impacts individuals across the lifespan and can lead to anemia, cognitive problems, behavioral problems, depression, anxiety, and asthma. It is also associated with unhealthy weight control behaviors and disordered eating.

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.

“Identifying and combatting health issues including food insecurity is core to our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” said Eve Van de Wal, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield regional president. “We are proud to present Upstate Family Health Center with community health funding to help meet their patients’ needs and provide them with essential meals and nutrition.”

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