BUFFALO — Univera Healthcare announced the recipients of its 2023 Health Equity Innovation Awards, including an award to Houghton University.
The awards represent more than $112,000 in financial support the nonprofit health insurer is providing to community programs that address racial and ethnic health disparities across the Western New York Region.
“At Univera Healthcare, our mission is to help people lead heathier more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable healthcare,” said Simone E. Edwards, Univera vice president of health equity and community investments. “We’re committed to community partnerships and using our resources to support initiatives that directly target health disparities, promote access to care, and address the underlying social determinants of health, to help ensure everyone can reach their full potential.”
Earlier this year, Univera Healthcare invited organizations to apply for awards of up to $30,000 each to help fund initiatives, programs, and research that specifically target the root causes of health inequities, with a focus on addressing structural racism. Award categories include, but were not limited to, improving the community’s physical and mental health, reducing social disparities in health care, and ensuring access to health care services.
The funding from Univera Healthcare will support seven nonprofits that were chosen after a comprehensive review process which included input from individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to assess each proposal. Grant recipients were selected based on clear, defined goals and measurable results for reducing health disparities and improving health equity.
Houghton University was chosen for its Mental Health and Wellness in Rural Higher Education program. The program will support mental health and wellness counselors providing a series of events and programs aimed to help students develop positive behavioral health practices, learn about mental health issues, develop positive peer mentoring relationships and access to immediate counseling services.