PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Independence Blue Cross Foundation announced that it awarded 88 grants in southeastern Pennsylvania during 2012, totaling more than $4.6 million. The grants targeted three primary areas: caring for the most vulnerable, enhancing health care delivery, and building healthy communities.
"One year after it was founded, the IBC Foundation has made a profound impact in transforming health care through innovative programming in the communities we serve," said Lorina Marshall-Blake, president of the IBC Foundation. "We've funded health clinics that provide quality, accessible health care to more than 156,000 people in underserved communities. We've helped 430 undergraduate and graduate students enroll in qualified nursing programs to pursue their degrees in nursing, primary care, or geriatric care. We've also supported a number of organizations dedicated to building healthy communities. We look forward to the coming year and to continuing to work with these and others in our community committed to helping people live healthier, happier lives."
Caring for the Most Vulnerable
The IBC Foundation focuses on caring for the most vulnerable through the Blue Safety Net program, which provides grants to private, nonprofit community health center clinics or other entities that deliver quality, cost-effective care to primarily uninsured people in medically underserved areas. In 2012, the IBC Foundation provided over $2.5 million in funding to 39 clinics, including first-time grants to seven organizations:
- ChesPenn Center for Family Health at Upper Darby, to provide primary care to the uninsured and under-insured residents of Upper Darby Township and surrounding communities;
- Delaware Valley Community Health Inc. Fairmount Primary Care Center to support primary medical and dental services provided at this center and two satellite centers in underserved populations in Philadelphia county;
- Public Health Management Corporation Care Clinic, to support a rapid increase in the number of uninsured patients needing treatment at this Philadelphia care center;
- Puentes de Salud, to support the clinic's nurse practitioner residency program, for the Latino community in south Philadelphia;
- Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, to implement a "patient-centered medical home" which provides medical and consultative services to families and individuals in an underserved, at-risk West Philadelphia community;
- Temple Health Connection, to assist with state required screenings at the Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School; and
- Youth Service, Inc., to help provide comprehensive medical examinations and follow-up care to more than 400 runaway youth.
Enhancing Health Care Delivery
In 2012, the IBC Foundation provided $1 million in Nurses for Tomorrow grants to 34 area nursing programs to fund graduate and undergraduate nursing scholarships to strengthen the nursing workforce through education, career development, and research.
Building Healthy Communities
Through its Building Healthy Communities initiative, the IBC Foundation seeks to partner with community leaders and programs to improve the health and wellness of the people of southeastern Pennsylvania. In 2012, the IBC Foundation provided $557,500 in funding to 12 organizations, including new grants to the following:
- Community Health Partners for Sustainability, to support innovations in nurse-led health clinics.
- FaSST Connections program, to support emergency medication fills for chronically homeless people;
- Free Clinic Association of Pennsylvania, to support building an infrastructure development for 23 free and charitable clinics throughout the state serving 27,000 patients;
- Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing (NYU), to help primary care providers enhance the quality of care for older adults with dementia;
- National League for Nursing, Inc. (ACES), to host conferences that address new models of care for older adults;
- Penn Asian Senior Services, Inc., to support home health care focusing on Asian seniors;
- Philabundance, to support the Fresh For All program that provides fresh fruits and vegetables at no cost to residents in low-income neighborhoods to promote healthy eating; and
- Philadelphia Allied Health (PHMC), to develop a financially sustainable Allied Health Associates Degree College at a Philadelphia high school to help meet the growing demand for qualified allied health professionals;
In addition to these grants, the IBC Foundation launched a groundbreaking new initiative in October 2012, called Healthy Futures. Healthy Futures is a three-year, nearly $2 million comprehensive, collaborative approach to combat obesity and improve childhood wellness. The Foundation provided $562,000 in funding in 2012 to this initiative.
About the Independence Blue Cross Foundation
In October 2011, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, launched a charitable, private foundation, whose mission is to transform health care through innovation in the communities it serves. The IBC Foundation and Independence Blue Cross, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, are both committed to improving the health and wellness of the people of southeastern Pennsylvania. The foundation targets the following areas of impact:
- Caring for our most vulnerable: Supporting nonprofit community health center clinics that deliver quality, cost-effective primary, medical, and dental care to uninsured and underinsured people.
- Enhancing health care delivery: Strengthening the nursing workforce through education, career development, and research.
- Building healthy communities: Partnering with community leaders and programs to address community health and wellness needs.
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Independence Blue Cross
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Source:Independence Blue Cross Foundation