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Independence Blue Cross Foundation announces more than $3.2M in grants supporting community health centers, addressing the opioid epidemic, and community innovation

Philadelphia, PA — December 16, 2019 The Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation) today announced more than $3.2 million in grants through the following Foundation programs: Blue Safety Net, Supporting Treatment and Overdose Prevention (STOP), Community Innovation, and Nurses for Tomorrow. Grants awarded will provide operational support to build health center capacity, assist individuals struggling with opioid use disorder, promote innovation in the nonprofit sector, and support the next generation of nurses.

Blue Safety Net

Through the Blue Safety Net program, the Foundation funds private, nonprofit community health centers that provide access to care in medically underserved areas. In its latest round of funding, the Foundation awarded nearly $2.5 million in grants to 48 health centers serving more than 300,000 patients. This year, the Foundation is supporting three health centers for the first time:

  • La Comunidad Hispana in West Grove, which provides bilingual integrated health and community services to migrant farm workers in the rural parts of Chester County.
  • The Philip Jaisohn Memorial Foundation, which serves Korean-American communities at locations in Philadelphia and Lansdale.

STOP initiative

The Foundation awarded nearly $570,000 in 11 grants through the Supporting Treatment and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Initiative. STOP brings together community health providers and resources to increase access to effective prevention and treatment options for those struggling with opioid use disorder. The grants will support the following organizations:

  • Caron Treatment Centers: To build on the successful expansion of a student assistance program, family education, and Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment, or SBIRT, training. Funding will also support the launch of a new training program for nursing students and nursing professionals.
  • Citizens Acting Together Can Help, Inc.: To support the formation of specialized groups and activities addressing opioid addiction through prevention and education.
  • Community Volunteers In Medicine: To expand a non-opioid pain management program to include physiatry interventions, bilingual behavioral health counseling, and non-opioid pain and mental health medication therapy.
  • Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation: To support STOPioid Abuse, a new initiative that improves access to prevention, treatment and recovery support services related to opioid misuse.
  • Eluna: To support Camp Mariposa, an award-winning addiction prevention mentoring program for youth 9-17 from the Greater Philadelphia area who have been affected by a relative’s substance use disorder.
  • Esperanza Health Center: To support programs that promote opioid and other substance misuse prevention methods for individuals and families living in North Philadelphia.
  • One Day At A Time (ODAAT): To expand ODAAT’s transitional outreach and prevention services for people seeking treatment, recovering from addiction or at risk of becoming addicted.
  • Pathways to Housing PA; To enhance Pathways’ community-based treatment and support services for people with substance use disorder.
  • Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania: To implement a nurse-led virtual reality training that demonstrates how to administer Narcan using an overdose scenario. The training will be added to Philadelphia’s public heath programming.
  • Turning Points for Children: To support the Peer to Peer Opioid Prevention program, which focuses on providing information to young people susceptible to opioid addiction.
  • Unity Recovery: To support a community project that combines traditional recovery support services with harm reduction initiatives.

Community Innovation

The Foundation will provide nearly $145,000 in three Community Innovation grants to support pilot projects that pursue innovative approaches to health challenges in the community. Projects must approach a community need in a new way and secure matching funding. The grants will support the following organizations:

  • Hoplite Resilience Center, Inc.: To support VetTriage, a mental health and wellness telehealth app for veterans. This app aims to address knowledge and attitudes that prevent veterans from seeking services.
  • Food Trust: To support Heart Smarts, which brings coordinated behavioral health screenings into the corner store environment, empowering residents to improve their health. Project will expand to two additional sites in Northeast and Southwest Philadelphia.
  • Wistar Institute: To support a pathway for Community College of Philadelphia students to enter the biomedical field.

 Nurses for Tomorrow

The Foundation awarded $60,000 in grants through the Nurses for Tomorrow program to support the diverse pipeline of nurse practitioners and researchers in the region. Six schools — including La Salle University, Temple University, Thomas Jefferson University, University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University, and West Chester University — received grant funding for their graduate and doctoral level nursing students to complete community-based research projects. This funding is in addition to the $1.2 million in Nurses for Tomorrow grants awarded earlier this year to 20 nursing programs for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral scholarships.


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:

  • Strengthening the Blue Safety Net: Improving 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.
  • Community Innovation: Supporting pilot projects that pursue new approaches to existing health-focused challenges in the community.

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


Media Contact:
Ruth Stoolman
Independence Blue Cross
215-241-4807 (office)
215-667-9537 (cell)

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.