You could feel the energy and excitement in the air earlier this week as hundreds gathered virtually for the United Way of New York City (UWNYC) Gridiron Gala.  The event has a football theme because of the successful 28-year partnership that both the New York Giants and Jets have enjoyed with UWNYC.

Quest Diagnostics senior management and leaders of the company’s signature philanthropic initiative, Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE),  were on hand at the virtual event to support CEO Steve Rusckowski as he was honored with the organization’s Community Quarterback Award. Quest and Steve were recognized for partnering with UWNYC and Choose Healthy Life to work with Black clergy to provide better access to healthcare, mainly in terms of vaccine awareness and COVID-19 testing in underserved communities. Watch Steve’s acceptance remarks by clicking here.

“All of us at Quest Diagnostics are honored to receive this prestigious recognition, and we are proud to be shoulder to shoulder in the huddle with the United Way of New York City,” Steve said. “Together we have been providing COVID-19 testing and services in more than 40 underserved communities in five cities, and in doing so we have established a  team whose vision is to address the broader health needs beyond these five communities and beyond COVID-19 testing.”

Steve was introduced by New York Giants owner John Mara and also by former Giant and Pro Football Hall of Famer Harry Carson. In his introduction, Mr. Mara recounted the Giants-Quest relationship.


Giants owner John Mara introduces Steve as UWNYC Community Quarterback awardee at the Gridiron Gala event

“In 2013 the Giants organization was looking for a partner that was committed to excellence, improving the lives of others, and shared our values,” Mr. Mara said. “It didn’t take us long to realize that Quest Diagnostics was the perfect partner, and it’s why the facility the Giants organization calls home is the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Since we teamed up with Quest in 2013 we’ve seen firsthand their commitment to helping make our players healthier, but also helping to improve the health of our community through the annual Health and Fitness Expo we host at the stadium.”

The event raised nearly $1.5 million to support New York City’s most challenged neighborhoods.

United Way of New York City (UWNYC) has been a trusted partner to government, corporations, and community-based organizations for nearly 80 years. Serving low-income New Yorkers, UWNYC’s collective impact approach enables the diagnosis of neighborhood challenges and the design of solutions to expand education, financial stability, and health opportunities. UWNYC then deploys resources and volunteers while also driving policy change that is guided by measured results.