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In Focus

Making Change Happen

By July 25, 2023April 16th, 2024Health Priorities

By the end of this year, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation (IBX Foundation) will have awarded grants to nonprofits and research totaling more than $80 million — including up to $12 million in 2023 alone. The impact of our commitment is expanding access to care, increasing educational opportunities in the health care workforce, investing in pioneering research, and advancing health equity for all.

Last March, Independence Blue Cross President and CEO Greg Deavens announced the IBX Foundation Institute for Health Equity (Institute), dedicating $15 million through 2026 to lead efforts for equitable health in our communities and nation.

What We’re Doing to Drive Equitable Health

In April – just one year after the Institute announcement – we convened the IBX Foundation Institute for Health Equity Forum in Philadelphia. The inaugural, three-day event engaged 600 regional and national leaders and experts from academic medicine, professional medical and nursing associations, health systems, nonprofit organizations, government, and philanthropy to drive action in the Institute’s focus areas: equity in medicine, digital health, and maternal care.

We’re proud to collaborate with organizations such as the Delaware Valley DEI Consortium – a regional coalition of DEI deans in medical education – to address the disparities in the physician workforce and set a national agenda.

We’re excited to publicize results of the region’s first digital health engagement survey among providers and patients in underserved communities. Findings will inform the development of equitable digital health solutions with health centers in our region.

We recognize the leadership needed in government to promote policies that improve the lives of groups that have been historically marginalized. We’re fortunate for the work underway by Representative Morgan Cephas of the Pennsylvania 192nd Legislative District to prevent adverse maternal and infant health outcomes among Black women and birthing people.

The Institute serves as a think tank and collaborative to achieve more equitable systems capable of delivering culturally responsive care and improving population health outcomes.

As the Forum suggests, it takes all of us to make change happen.

Heather Falck Major

As the first executive director of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation), Heather Falck Major is responsible for advancing the Foundation’s thought leadership and grantmaking to drive equity and impact health in communities across southeastern Pennsylvania. With nearly two decades of healthcare experience, first as an underwriter and more than ten years in corporate philanthropy, Heather has helped shape the strategy and programmatic direction of the Foundation since its launch.

Heather has day-to-day oversight of the Foundation’s grants administration, operations, and programmatic initiatives and the Foundation’s Institute for Health Equity, a $15 million commitment to advance health equity in our region and nation. She is responsible for Foundation communications, including managing editor and contributing author of its award-winning publications and is the host of the Foundation’s internationally reaching podcast, Someone You Know®. Heather is a member of the Corporate Engagement Advisory Committee at her alma mater, the Pennsylvania State University, and serves in advisory and committee roles for the PA Action Coalition and Urban Affairs Coalition. Heather is an inaugural member of the Leonard A. Lauder Community Care Nurse Practitioner Fellowship Advisory Board at University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and was recently appointed to the Board of Consults for the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at Villanova University.

Heather resides in Philadelphia with her husband, son, and their Great Pyrenees dog.

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