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Independence Blue Cross Foundation Initiative for Veterans to Become Nurses Featured nationally on ‘Military Makeover: Operation Career’ TV program

Military Makeover: Operation Career airing on Lifetime TV highlights partnership with Thomas Jefferson University’s College of Nursing to accelerate post 9/11 veterans into nursing

Independence Blue Cross (IBX) Foundation Service Scholars, a first-of-its kind nursing education pathway program for post 9/11 military veterans to become nurses, will be featured in an episode of “Military Makeover: Operation Career,” hosted by Montel Williams. The series, which airs on Lifetime and the Armed Forces Network, promotes organizations that are helping veterans prepare for life and employment after service. The episode airs on May 29 and June 5 on Lifetime and is also available on YouTube.

During the segment, Ana Brunal, one of the first IBX Foundation Service Scholars, shares her story of U.S. Army service and how she is building a future in the nursing workforce with support from the Independence Blue Cross Foundation and Thomas Jefferson University’s College of Nursing. The segment includes interviews with Lorina Marshall-Blake, president of the IBX Foundation, Heather Major, executive director of the IBX Foundation, and Marie Ann Marino, dean and professor at Jefferson’s College of Nursing. Marino is also a U.S. Naval Reserve Nurse Corps veteran.

“Our nation needs to solve for the national nursing workforce shortage and our highly-skilled veterans are an ideal fit,” said Major. “A career in nursing offers veterans the opportunity to use their innate ability to work well in team environments and under pressure while continuing to serve community and country.”

“At Jefferson, we are very invested in supporting veterans and service members,” says Marino. “Thanks to our partnership with Independence Blue Cross Foundation, we are now able to grow education opportunities for student veterans and military-connected students in more substantive ways.”

IBX Foundation Service Scholars expands on more than a decade of the IBX Foundation’s commitment to advance educational opportunities for a diverse and highly-skilled nursing workforce and enhances educational benefits offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Yellow Ribbon Program. Through the IBX Foundation Service Scholars Program, veteran students are eligible to receive scholarships and non-tuition aid along with support beyond the classroom, including career development opportunities and one-on-one mentoring.

The IBX Foundation will announce the remaining recipients of the new funding opportunity in November 2024.

About the Independence Blue Cross Foundation

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 its inception, the IBX Foundation’s most important stakeholder – the community – has been at the center of the work. By the end of 2024, the IBX Foundation will have awarded grants totaling nearly $90 million to support nonprofits and research improving the health and well-being of communities in southeastern Pennsylvania.

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

About Jefferson

Nationally ranked, Jefferson, which is principally located in the greater Philadelphia region and southern New Jersey, is reimagining health care and higher education to create unparalleled value. Jefferson is more than 42,000 people strong, dedicated to providing the highest-quality, compassionate clinical care for patients; making our communities healthier and stronger; preparing tomorrow’s professional leaders for 21st-century careers; and creating new knowledge through basic/programmatic, clinical and applied research. Thomas Jefferson University, home of Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Jefferson College of Nursing, and the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering & Commerce, dates back to 1824 and today comprises 10 colleges and three schools offering 200+ undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 8,300 students. Jefferson Health, nationally ranked as one of the top healthcare systems in the country and the largest provider in the Philadelphia area, serves patients through millions of encounters each year at 17 hospitals and more than 160 outpatient and urgent care locations throughout the region. Jefferson Health Plans is a not-for-profit managed health care organization providing a broad range of health coverage options in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for more than 35 years.

About Military Makeover with Montel®

Military Makeover with Montel®, A BrandStar Original, is America’s leading branded reality TV show that offers hope and a helping hand here on the home front to members of our military and their loved ones. A veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Navy, talk show legend and military advocate Montel Williams, who creatively co-produces the show along with a colorful cast that seeks to transform the homes and lives of military families across the country. The cast includes co-hosts Art Edmonds and designer Jennifer Bertrand. This special series enlists caring companies of all sizes as well as non-profits and the local community. Military Makeover airs on Lifetime® and on the American Forces Network which serves American servicemen and women, Department of Defense and other U.S. government civilians and their families stationed at bases overseas, as well as U.S. Navy ships at sea. Help starts at home for veterans on Military Makeover. Join us as our makeover team engages to change the living situation – and the lives – of these deserving families.

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: ibxfoundation.org. Connect with the Independence Blue Cross Foundation on LinkedIn.