Subtitle —Awarded $2.7 Million in eight counties of WNY in 2018— Buffalo, NY —BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York’s Blue Fund is accepting letters of intent online through Feb. 4, 2019 for grants to organizations and initiatives that align with at least one of its key focus areas. These include behavioral health, cardiovascular health, diabetes, health-care workforce development, healthy children and the opioid epidemic. Submitting a letter of intent is a required first step in the grant-making process. Selected applicants will then be invited to submit a full proposal. Blue Fund will consider requests for $100,000 to $500,000 grants from not-for-profit organizations in the eight counties of Western New York for initiatives that are ready to implement and demonstrate enhanced and measurable community outcomes. Applicants should demonstrate how the proposed project or initiative will deepen and broaden current work by supporting the expansion or creation of a program, based on the success of earlier work or evidence-based best practices. The region’s largest not-for-profit health plan launched the Blue Fund in July 2018, and awarded more than $2.7 million to nine local organizations November 2018 in its first round of grants. Those grants were awarded in addition to the health plan’s current corporate partnerships and sponsorships, which see annual investments of more than $2 million in Western New York charities, community groups and cultural organizations. To learn more about Blue Fund and to submit a letter of intent online for the 2019 grant cycle, visit bcbswny.com/bluefund. Funding decisions will be announced in Fall 2019. About BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is a division of HealthNow New York Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Since 1936, BlueCross BlueShield has helped millions of people lead healthier lives. BlueCross BlueShield offers a full range of insured, self-insured, and government programs and services covering businesses, families, and individuals, as well as dental and vision plans and stop-loss coverage. As a community-based, not-for-profit health plan, BlueCross BlueShield contributes significantly to organizations that strengthen and enrich the health of our community. For up-to-date news, facts, and information about the company, leadership, and industry, please visit the BlueCross BlueShield News Center at bcbswny.com/news or follow us on Twitter. About Blue Fund Blue Fund, funded solely by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, awards major grants in Western New York, totaling approximately $1 million to $3 million annually, to organizations and initiatives that have a positive impact on key health areas and will demonstrate enhanced measurable outcomes for community health metrics. These include behavioral health, cardiovascular health, diabetes, health care workforce development, healthy children and the opioid epidemic. Blue Fund complements BlueCross BlueShield's current corporate giving program of partnerships and sponsorships which saw community investments of more than $2 million in Western New York in 2017.