(WATERTOWN, NY) – The Volunteer Transportation Center Foundation, Inc. is proud to announce it has received a $5,000 sponsorship from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in support of the services provided to people in the community facing transportation barriers. This marks the fourth year in a row the health plan has provided funding to support the mission of the Volunteer Transportation Center.

“We are incredibly thankful to Excellus BlueCross BlueShield for their continued support,” said VTC Foundation Director Jeremiah S. Papineau. “It gives us a great sense of pride they find value in our mission and the important work our volunteer drivers do to help people here in the North Country to live healthier lives.”

“The VTC, like many other nonprofit organizations, continues to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its challenges,” he said. “Funding from organizations like Excellus BlueCross BlueShield continues to help our mission to be successful.”

Mr. Papineau noted the funding will be used to reimburse volunteer drivers for the trips they provide to those in the community who would otherwise not have transportation to crucial appointments.

“The vital work of the Volunteer Transportation Center aligns with our mission as a nonprofit Health Plan,” shared Excellus BCBS Regional President Eve Van de Wal. “We recognize that addressing social determinants of health, such as transportation barriers, is critical to the health and wellbeing of our communities and we are pleased to support Volunteer Transportation Center with this essential community health funding.”

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides year-round opportunities for sponsorship funding for initiatives that align with the Health Plan’s mission to help people lead healthier and more secure lives through access to high quality, affordable health care. The company’s corporate giving follows all applicable laws and regulations and does not support funding organizations that conflict with its corporate mission, goals, policies or products.

Mr. Papineau noted the funding from the Excellus BlueCross BlueShield will be recognized with Underwriter Level sponsorship of all VTC events this year and will benefit services provided by the organization across Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties.


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.

For more information on funding opportunities through Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, visit www.ExcellusBCBS.com/community.


The Volunteer Transportation Center, Inc. (VTC), established in 1991, drives thousands of miles each year assisting community members in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties. Over the last 30 years, this essential non-profit organization has provided rides to health care appointments, grocery shopping, and other destinations for residents.

In 2022, volunteer drivers provided 26,487 charitable trips over 878,240 miles in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties. Of those miles, 376,604 helped those in Jefferson County, 137,743 in Lewis County, and 363,893 in St. Lawrence County. That equated to approximately $439,120 in mileage reimbursement for our volunteers.

The staff, Board of Directors and volunteer drivers look forward to a time when transportation to community activities and services is accessible to all North Country residents regardless of economic or specialized needs. But for now the mission drives on — striving to provide transportation to health, wellness and critical needs destinations utilizing volunteers and mobility management for anyone who has barriers to transportation.

For more information about how you can help the Volunteer Transportation Center, about its upcoming events, or to become a volunteer driver, contact the agency in Watertown at 315-788-0422, in Canton at 315-714-2034, or Fulton at 315-714-9134. To learn more, visit www.volunteertransportationcenter.org.