Independence Blue Cross: Our Investment in Community Health

By May 29, 2019December 9th, 2020Community
Lorina Marshall-Blake planting something at a volunteer event

Rev. Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake, volunteering with the Independence Blue Cross Blue Crew at Share Food Program

For more than 80 years, Independence Blue Cross (Independence) has enhanced the health and well-being of the communities we serve.

We have a responsibility as the leading health insurance company in Philadelphia to make quality health care accessible and affordable and to ensure good health is in reach for everyone. It’s a responsibility we embrace every day through the many ways we invest in improving community health.

Community Wellness

Through our various community sponsorships, we motivate our members and the community to pursue an active lifestyle.

Every May, we cheer on more than 40,000 people as they race ten miles down Broad Street through the heart of Philadelphia in the Blue Cross Broad Street Run.

We support Indego bike share to give people a convenient and healthy way to get around Philadelphia and we are the presenting sponsor of the Blue Cross RiverRink, where families can enjoy healthy activities and entertainment, including roller skating in summer and ice skating in winter. Independence members get a discount on Indego passes and skate for free at the RiverRink.

Our community health and wellness experience center in Center City Philadelphia, Independence LIVE, offers weekly fitness, wellness, and healthy cooking classes, and Age Fearless programs for seniors all year long. All are free for Independence members.

We’re also proud to support the regional CPR Ready Campaign to help expand access to free CPR and AED education and training to prepare people to respond if they witness someone experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, often because someone isn’t trained or willing to perform life-saving CPR. Since 2016, CPR Ready has trained more than 100,000 people on how to save a life.

Independence Blue Cross Foundation

As President of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation), I have the privilege to lead solutions for a healthier community. Since 2011, the Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $34 million to more than 200 nonprofit partners supporting nearly 300,000 residents in southeastern Pennsylvania.

An important aspect of the Foundation’s work is developing and supporting initiatives that address national health issues locally.

Through our Supporting Treatment and Overdose Prevention (STOP) initiative, the Foundation has awarded nearly $2 million to fight the opioid epidemic through a strategic approach, regional partnerships, and grantmaking.

In 2018, the Foundation launched “Someone You Know” to help reduce the stigma of opioid addiction and inspire hope in our communities. This grassroots effort and public health awareness campaign shares stories of people who have found a life in recovery, supported a loved one with an opioid addiction, or lost a loved one to opioid addiction. Every story humanizes the disease of addiction.

Look for our interactive “Someone You Know” mobile exhibits as they begin traveling to college campuses, sporting venues, and community events, and listen to our new “Someone You Know” podcast to hear intimate conversations with the “Someone You Know” ambassadors. We encourage people to join the movement by continuing these conversations in their communities.

Blue Crew Volunteers

Independence associates are passionate about giving their time and talents to make our communities better as part of our Blue Crew corporate volunteer program.

I had the honor to accept the 2018 Volunteer Organization of the Year award from Saint John’s Hospice, a social services shelter for men, and I am thrilled to say that Blue Crew volunteer participation reached an all-time high in 2018 for the third straight year.

In the past year, over 1,800 Blue Crew volunteers donated more than 15,000 hours in support of 105 nonprofit organizations in our region, participating in more than 350 different service projects. The value of their volunteer time is equivalent to $371,000, according to The Independent Sector, a coalition of nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs.

Whether you’re inspired by “Someone You Know,” benefit from the efforts of our Blue Crew volunteers, or are motivated to achieve well-being by participating in the Blue Cross Broad Street Run or taking a healthy cooking class at Independence LIVE, know that we value the trust you have in us and are deeply committed to making the place we live, work, and play better for all.

 

Rev. Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake, MGA

About Rev. Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake, MGA

Rev. Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake is president of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation), leading strategic, programmatic, and operational efforts to fulfill the Foundation’s mission to lead sustainable solutions that improve the health and wellness of the community. While overseeing grant-making work for the $90 million Foundation, Marshall-Blake steered the Foundation to be a collaborator, innovator, convener of diverse organizations, and thought leader in addressing emerging health needs in southeastern Pennsylvania.