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In Focus

Independence Blue Cross Foundation invests locally to create a healthy southeastern Pennsylvania

Annual Foundation Community Report highlights awards totaling $4.8 million in 2017

The Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation) provides vital support for our region through its funding for community health centers, nursing education, 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, “Putting Community First,” which provides a comprehensive summary of the Foundation’s $4.8 million in awarded grants and the 101 grantees that received support in 2017.

In addition, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association today released its tenth Community Investment 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 more than 540,000 volunteer hours and more than $284 million in community health initiatives across all BCBS companies and their foundations. Employees of BCBS companies also donated $17 million to community health initiatives in 2017.

Locally, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation in 2017:

  • Contributed more than $1.5 million to 21 area nursing schools to advance the education and professional development of nurses and nurse leaders. The Foundation supported undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral nursing students through the Nurses for Tomorrow 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 health care administration.
  • Invested $2.6 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 2017, the Foundation supported 44 private, nonprofit community health centers, serving 200,000 people through 600,000 patient visits.
  • Invested nearly $300,000 through the Addressing Health Priorities program. This includes the Healthy Hearts initiative which supported prevention strategies that addressed cardiovascular disparities in underserved populations in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Supporting Treatment and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Initiative, which increases awareness and access to effective community-based opioid treatment and prevention.
  • The Foundation awarded an additional $310,000 in funding to programs that improve the health and wellness of youth, seniors, and veterans, among other groups.

“Looking back on 2017, we’re very proud to have served our community and to have made life healthier and better for many people,” said Lorina Marshall-Blake, president of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation. “However, our support goes well beyond simply writing a check. We’re equally proud to foster deep and committed partnerships, based on trust, sharing knowledge, and a common mission to improve community health. None of this work could be possible without collaboration and good partnership.”

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: Strengthening the safety net of private, nonprofit health centers that provide access to quality, affordable health care in medically underserved areas.
  • Bolstering the Health Care Workforce: Advancing the nursing workforce through education and professional development.
  • Addressing Health Priorities: Finding local solutions to national health issues through research and cross-sector partnerships. Currently focusing on the opioid epidemic through the Supporting Treatment and Overdose Prevention (STOP) initiative.
  • Building Healthier Communities: Enabling nonprofits to address diverse community health and wellness needs.

Learn more by visiting our website: Connect with the Independence Blue Cross Foundation on Twitter.

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 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.

Media contact:
Ruth Stoolman
Independence Blue Cross
215-241-4807 (o)
215-667-9537 (c)


Independence Blue Cross Foundation Team

The Independence Blue Cross Foundation is leading a future for equitable health in our communities and nation. The IBX Foundation’s grant programs and the Independence Blue Cross Foundation Institute for Health Equity are advancing three areas of impact: Access to Care, the Healthcare Workforce, and Health Equity. Since inception the IBX Foundation’s most important stakeholder – the community – has been at the center of the work. By the end of 2023, the IBX Foundation will have awarded grants totaling more than $80 million to support nonprofits and research improving the health and well-being of communities in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Learn more by visiting our website: Connect with the Independence Blue Cross Foundation on LinkedIn.