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In Focus

Independence Blue Cross Foundation Expands Scholars Program in Nursing

A group photo of the Healthcare Scholars Program participants

New IBX Foundation Healthcare Scholars join Foundation leadership Executive Director Heather Major (seated far left) and President Lorina Marshall-Blake (seated third from left) at a reception on August 17 to welcome the new students.

The Healthcare Scholars Program now includes 12 nursing schools and 35 additional students

The Independence Blue Cross (IBX) Foundation announced the expansion of the IBX Foundation Healthcare Scholars Program, creating an educational pathway for underrepresented groups who want to become nurses. The program provides four-year or two-year scholarships to cover tuition and educational expenses for students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in nursing or associate degree in nursing.

IBX Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $400,000 to twelve Nursing Schools to fund the annual tuition of 35 students selected to participate in the IBX Foundation Healthcare Scholars Program. In addition, scholars have access to mentoring and professional development programming through an IBX Foundation grant to PA-Action Coalition.

“Nurses play a vital role in our communities and in health care. Opportunities like this address the shortage in the nursing workforce, as well as the need for greater representation in nursing, the nation’s largest healthcare workforce,” said Lorina Marshall-Blake, President, Independence Blue Cross Foundation. “The scholarships also demonstrate the increased commitment of the IBX Foundation to advance nursing education and professional development of undergraduate student nurses.”

The National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice reported that when nurses are members of the populations they serve they are better able to improve communication and trust. They may also be more likely to work in resource-poor communities facing a shortage of healthcare professionals, which can improve access to healthcare.

The IBX Foundation Healthcare Scholars Program was launched in 2021 with Temple University’s College of Public Health and Department of Nursing. More than half of Nursing Schools in southeastern PA region are now participating in the program including Community College of Philadelphia, Eastern University, Gwynedd Mercy University, Harcum College, Holy Family University, Immaculata University, La Salle University, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC), Neumann University, Temple University, Villanova University, and Widener University.

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Independence Blue Cross Foundation Team

The Independence Blue Cross Foundation is leading a future for equitable health in our communities and nation. The IBC 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 IBC Foundation’s most important stakeholder – the community – has been at the center of the work. By the end of 2023, the IBC 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.

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