PHILADELPHIA, June 27, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation) provides vital support for our region through its funding for community health center clinics, nursing education, community organizations and targeted initiatives aimed at improving the lives and health of area residents, especially the underserved. These accomplishments are summarized in the Foundation's Community Report, "Accelerating Healthy Communities," which includes a listing of the 130 grants totaling $6.2 million invested last year.
In addition, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association today released its eighth annual Investing in America's Health (IAH) report. The report highlights the 36 Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies' commitment to improving the health of all Americans, an effort that contributed to a national total of nearly 400,000 volunteer hours and nearly $350 million in community project funding across all BCBS companies and their foundations. Employees of BCBS companies also donated nearly $10 million to community health initiatives in 2015.
Locally, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation in 2015:
- Contributed more than $1.7 million to 22 area nursing schools to advance the education and professional development of nurses and nurse leaders. The Foundation supported 425 undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. nursing students through the Nursing for Tomorrow program. The Foundation also provided a ten-week summer internship program to 24 undergraduate nursing students who explored nursing in a community health setting, or in healthcare administration.
- Invested $3 million through the Blue Safety Net program to strengthen the network of health centers across our region that provide essential care to people in medically underserved areas. In 2015, the Foundation supported 44 private, nonprofit community health centers, serving more than 200,000 people through 600,000 patient visits. The $3 million in grant awards includes $520,000 in targeted funding to build health center capacity, including support for several innovative pilots in telemedicine, mobile dental, and trauma-informed care.
- Invested nearly $1 million in the Healthy Futures Initiative, a groundbreaking child wellness initiative in 25 elementary schools throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. The three-year $3 million program and research study, which began in late 2013, is a comprehensive, collaborative approach to childhood health and wellness that partners with regionally and nationally known health leaders such as CHOP, the Vetri and Garces Foundations, Greener Partners, and major sports teams including the Philadelphia Union and Philadelphia Freedoms, Healthy Future's Eat Right, Get Fit, and Stay Well components help children lay the groundwork for a lifetime of healthy habits.
- Partnered with nonprofit community organizations through its Building Healthier Communities grant program, to help residents improve their health. The Foundation provided more than $540,000 in funding to 39 community organizations targeting youth, seniors, and veterans, among other groups. Funded programs addressed behavioral health, food distribution, and housing, as well as disease prevention, to name a few areas of support, benefitting nearly 100,000 residents.
In addition, Independence Blue Cross employee volunteers donated more than 8,000 hours in 2015 – worth approximately $185,000 in value according to The Independent Sector, a coalition of nonprofits, foundations and corporate giving programs – across 320 community service projects that benefited 70 nonprofit organizations. Projects included helping at the World Meeting of Families events, Philadelphia Reads, MANNA, and Project HOME.
"As we approach our Foundation's five year anniversary this fall, we couldn't be more proud or more committed to improving the health and well-being of residents in southeastern Pennsylvania," said Lorina Marshall-Blake, president of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation. "Beyond our financial support, we have built strong local and national partnerships that are helping transform health care one person and one community at a time."
About the Independence Blue Cross Foundation
The Independence Blue Cross Foundation is a charitable, private foundation, whose mission is leading solutions for a healthier community. The Foundation targets the following areas:
- Securing the Blue Safety Net: Supporting private, nonprofit community health center clinics that increase access to quality, affordable healthcare in medically underserved areas.
- Bolstering the Health Care Workforce: Strengthening the nursing, primary care, and allied health workforce through education, career development, and research.
- Addressing Health Priorities: Collaborating with wellness partners to tackle the region's most pressing health challenges; currently combating the obesity epidemic through the IBC Foundation Healthy Futures Initiative.
- Building Healthier Communities: Partnering with community leaders and programs to address community health and wellness needs.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for over 107 million members – one in three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit www.BCBS.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog for up-to-date information about BCBSA.
CONTACT: Ruth Stoolman Independence Blue Cross Ruth.firstname.lastname@example.org 215.241.4807 (office) 215.280.3335 (cell)
Source:Independence Blue Cross Foundation