Skip to main content

In Focus

Independence Blue Cross Foundation and Penn State host “Share Your Opioid Story” community conversations

Michael and Lorina

Michael DiMaio and Independence Blue Cross Foundation president Lorina Marshall-Blake.

Independence Blue Cross Foundation and the  Penn State Justice Center for Research partnered to host “Share Your Opioid Story” community conversations throughout the Philadelphia region in support of the “Someone You Know” campaign. The conversations focused on individual stories about the stigma of addiction and best practices to prevent barriers to recovery.

The five community conversations took place in all five southeastern Pennsylvania counties. Each event featured guest speakers and audience discussions about mental health and trauma as part of substance recovery.

One of the featured speakers at the Delaware county event in Upper Darby was Michael DiMaio, a recovering drug abuser who was in rehab and detox 25 times combined from 1989 to 2003.  After battling suicide and depression, DiMaio received treatment and was introduced to a 12-step program. Today, has been in a recovery program for five years and is working to complete his degree in paralegal studies at Bucks County Community College.

Numerous personal stories such as DiMaio’s are being shared at each event to foster hope and empathy for those struggling with substance abuse and addiction.

“We aren’t bad people trying to get good — we are sick people trying to get well,” said DiMaio. “As long as that person’s alive, there’s hope. Recovery is possible.”


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.