Jessica Renner, Regional President of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, and her staff are at the forefront of community collaboration on healthcare and the social determinants of health.
“We are in a new era of coming together with community agencies and healthcare providers to focus on healthy outcomes for the people we serve,”
Jessica says. “There’s really been a movement to focus on the social determinants of health. And access to healthy food is right there at the top of the list,” Jessica says.
The company has developed a strong partnership with the Food Bank over the last three years and Jessica serves on the Food Bank Board of Directors.
A healthier community means a healthier bottom line for health insurers, who have found it much less costly to keep people healthy than to treat illnesses that can be avoided with a healthier lifestyle.
“New York has been a mostly non-profit healthcare state,” Jessica says. “That really allows us to focus on our mission – affordability, quality and access. That allows us to run lean and not have to worry about dividends to shareholders.”
Because access to healthy food is so critical to maintaining good health, Jessica says partnership with the Food Bank just makes sense. Excellus of Central New York Southern Tier Region closely aligns with the Food Bank’s six-county service area.
The company participated in the Food Bank’s Leader of the Pack corporate packing challenge, sponsored our recent Truck Upgrade Project, granted a Community Health Award to support our Kids’ Farmers Market, and has been a sponsor of the Selfless Elf 5K.
“Working with the Food Bank helps Excellus delve further into its mission and the Food Bank has helped provide a model for client-centered service,” Jessica says. “The Food Bank has really been out there in the forefront of understanding that you’ve got to meet clients where they are, and that’s what Excellus aims to do, too.”