IBC Foundation awards nearly $2.4 million in community-based grants

2014 funding supports community health centers, nursing education, helps build healthy communities, and improves child wellness

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| Source: Independence Blue Cross Foundation

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 19, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Independence Blue Cross Foundation, announced its contributions to leading solutions for a healthier community through a series of grants aimed at increasing access to health care in medically underserved areas; bolstering the health care workforce; building healthier communities, and improving childhood wellness. To date in 2014, the Foundation provided nearly $2.4 million through more than 60 grants.

"We're proud of the many strong relationships we've created in our community with forward-thinking organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people in our community," said Lorina Marshall-Blake, president of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation. "Transforming health care is as much about collaboration as it is about providing a check. And we're fortunate to partner with the best of the best — regional and national health leaders like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the National League for Nursing."

The IBC Foundation supports organizations and programs in these four areas:

Securing the Blue Safety Net
The IBC Foundation Blue Safety Net program awards grants to private, nonprofit community health centers that provide health services in medically underserved areas. To date in 2014, the IBC Foundation provided $200,000 in Blue Safety Net funding.
 
Bolstering the Health Care Workforce
The IBC Foundation also awarded $1.1 million dollars through its Nurses for Tomorrow initiative to 34 undergraduate and graduate nursing programs in southeastern Pennsylvania. As part of its commitment to accelerate the number of nurses into faculty roles or clinical practice, grants are awarded as scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in nursing. The IBC Foundation also provided internships this summer for 22 undergraduate nursing students, who spent 10 weeks working in a Foundation-supported community health center or providing health and wellness counseling at IBC.
 
Building Healthier Communities
Through the Building Healthier Communities program, the IBC Foundation provided $135,000 in funding to eight community organizations that improve the health and wellness of the people of southeastern Pennsylvania, including these first-time grantees:

  • 9th Street Youth and Community Center, to provide supervision, health screenings and instruction for at-risk youth and families of veterans.
  • Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutritional Alliance (MANNA), to provide medically appropriate home delivered meals for people at risk from life-threatening illnesses.
  • Playworks, to provide school-based fitness and bullying prevention.
  • Youth Mentoring Partnership, to provide a school-based fitness program, with goal setting.

Healthy Futures
Healthy Futures is a three-year, $3 million comprehensive, collaborative approach to combat obesity and improve childhood wellness. In 2014, the IBC Foundation provided nearly $1 million in funding to eleven wellness partners, including first-time grants to the following organizations:

  • Garces Foundation, to provide field trips to Luna Farm in Ottsville, Pennsylvania to educate fifth grade students about growing, cooking, and consuming healthy foods.
  • Philadelphia Freedoms, to provide a school-based tennis program to encourage elementary school children to exercise. The Freedoms will also provide equipment for the schools.
  • Philadelphia 76ers, to provide a school-based basketball clinic with a coach/player to motivate elementary school children to "Get Fit."

Healthy Futures includes several other regional and national leaders, including The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the Philadelphia Union, The Vetri Foundation for Children, Greener Partners, Fit Essentials, Villanova University Center for Obesity Prevention and Education and InnerLink, (Health eTools for Schools).

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 of impact:

  • 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.

Learn more by visiting our website: www.ibxfoundation.org. Connect with the Independence Blue Cross Foundation on Twitter and Instagram at @ibxfdn.

CONTACT: Media Contact:	  			
         Ruth Stoolman 				
         Independence Blue Cross	
         Ruth.stoolman@ibx.com	
         215-241-4807 (office)
         215-280-3335 (cell)