ICAN and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield announce today the receipt of the Excellus BCBS Member and Community Health Improvement (MACHI) grant to support Evelyn’s House – ICAN’s joint transitional and rapid rehousing program for homeless women, aged 16-24, who are pregnant and/or parenting.


This round of Excellus BCBS MACHI grants focused on improving maternal health and health equity in upstate New York. Eight non-profit organizations in the health plan’s 39 county service area will share $1 million in grant funding over the next three years. Evelyn’s House has been awarded a $90,000 grant ($60,000 for year one, $15,000 for years two and three) which will support comprehensive prenatal and postpartum care, transitional housing, and a supportive peer community for young homeless women who are pregnant and/or parenting. The core components that will be supported through the grant are:


Evelyn’s House Transitional Shelter – Located in Utica, NY, this shelter is available to young women (ages 16-24)and their children from across Upstate NY who are homeless, pregnant and/or parenting and in need of support.
The shelter is open and staffed 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.


Intensive, Wraparound Case Management – While at Evelyn’s House, young mothers receive intensive case management, including evidence-based parenting classes and other resources to prepare them for employment, nutrition, health and wellness plans, mental health treatment and obtainment of permanent housing.


Peer Support – ICAN has a significant history in employing and utilizing Peer Specialists. Past Evelyn’s House residents will be trained to work as Peers, bringing their unique expertise, important perspective, and deep

commitment to supporting women who are facing issues similar to those they previously navigated themselves.

ICAN will assist them with credentialing so they can gain marketable skills for future employment.


Nurturing Parenting Program Access – Two staff members will be trained to become Nurturing Parenting Program (NPP) facilitators and the program will be fully integrated for residents on a weekly basis. NPP is a national, evidence-based, culturally-inclusive and trauma-informed program that is proven to prevent recidivism in families receiving social services, lower the rate of multi-parent teenage pregnancies, reduce the rate of juvenile delinquency and alcohol abuse, and stop the intergenerational cycle of child abuse by teaching positive parenting behaviors.


Eve Van de Wal, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Regional President shares, “Each year, we focus our community investment strategy on areas where we can help close gaps and create the greatest impact on the health and wellbeing of our communities. Our partners at ICAN align with us in recognizing the health disparities that exist in maternal health and we are proud to support this program that will advance racial equity in maternal health for women in our community.”


ICAN CEO/Executive Director Steven Bulger adds, “We are very thankful to Excellus BlueCross BlueShield for not only providing generous support for the impactful work we’re doing locally, but also for their research and recognition of the maternal health crisis that disproportionately affects women of color on a regional and national level. We look forward to working together to increase the health and well-being of women in our care and beyond.”


For more details on the grant, please visit Excellus BCBS’s website



Evelyn’s House is a joint Transitional and Rapid Re-Housing program for homeless young women, ages 16-24, who are pregnant and/or parenting. The program helps develop the personal, familial and community-based resources and networks of young women in our care and builds the skills of clients through progressively challenging training and experiential learning. The ultimate goal is to support young women in becoming self-sufficient through access to employment, permanent housing and natural, community-based supports.



Founded in 1997, ICAN is a unique home and community-based network that provides individualized and non-traditional services and care to the highest risk individuals and families with social, emotional, mental health and behavioral challenges. ICAN’s team of over 200 staff consisting of care managers, service coordinators, social workers,support specialists, clinical staff and an extensive Independent Practice Association (IPA) of 250+ providers work together to provide a platform for support, family reunification and preservation to close to 2,000 individuals and families each day – prenatally through end of life.



Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company’s mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With more than 4,000 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit www.ExcellusBCBS.com.


In photo from left to right: 

Shayna Keller, Excellus BCBS Community Investments & Partnerships Manager

Rosetta St. Peter, Evelyn’s House Housing Director

Lisa Reginelli, ICAN Director of Transitional Services

Allison Jackson, ICAN Chief Program Officer

Eve Van de Wal, Excellus BCBS Regional President

Steven Bulger, ICAN CEO/Executive Director


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