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Building Community Partnerships With Purpose

By December 20, 2017October 23rd, 2023Community Events/Sponsorships Volunteerism
Partnerships With Purpose

Independence Blue Cross Convenes Partnerships with Purpose Conference

On November 1, Independence Blue Cross (Independence) convened a national conference, Partnerships with Purpose, aimed at exploring the power of collaboration to drive positive community impact. The conference brought together leaders from business, health care, nonprofit, education, and government to discuss opportunities for strong, more innovative partnerships that improve the health and well-being of our communities. We welcomed a diverse gathering of panelists, speakers, and guests who all share a commitment to addressing the needs of our community.

Highlights from the Conference

The conference opened with a leadership discussion between Independence President and CEO Dan Hilferty, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Comcast Corporation, David L. Cohen, and President and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition, Sharmain Matlock-Turner. The panelists discussed their efforts to positively impact the community and how working in silos limits the awareness, community support, and broad impact that could be achieved through collaboration. The discussion was moderated by NBC10 reporter Aundrea Cline-Thomas.

The rest of the day featured panel discussions and talks from community leaders, including a keynote address from Katherine Smith, executive director, Center for Corporate Citizenship, Boston College Carroll School of Management. Each panel focused on a key component of building community partnerships, whether it’s the importance of diverse perspectives, or best practices for partnering.

Some highlights include:

Why Partnership is Essential to Driving Change: Jeri Lynne Johnson, founder and artistic director of the Black Pearl Orchestra treated attendees to a conducting lesson, demonstrating how the principles of conducting apply to the concept of partnership.

Onsite volunteer activity: During lunch, IBC Foundation president Lorina Marshall-Blake invited conference attendees to assemble 300 hygiene packages to benefit recipients of Share Food Program.

Keynote address: Katherine Smith, executive director, Center for Corporate Citizenship, Boston College Carroll School of Management, explained how businesses can get involved to make an impact in their community by picking the right issues, integrating corporate citizenship with their business strategy, and planning for sustainability.

Partnering for Impact: Attendees learned best practices for building community partnerships, whether on a local or national level. For example, effective partnerships are made up of stakeholders who are willing to listen and learn in order to solve a problem together. Jeffrey Brown, president and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores spoke about how partnerships were the key to figuring out how to get supermarkets to work well in food deserts.

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Unified Approaches Lead to Promising Results

Conference panelists and speakers highlighted examples of how they have overcome disparate views and approaches to build successful partnerships. And how they succeeded not in spite of, but because of these differences. For example:

These are just a few of the ways in which building community partnerships and unique connections led to new solutions and approaches to solving problems. Whether it’s poverty, the opioid crisis, homelessness, discrimination, education, or access to health care, Philadelphia’s challenging issues require collaboration and cooperation. No one can solve these issues working alone.

The Power of a United Front

The Partnerships with Purpose conference demonstrated the power of a united front. I’m inspired by the collaboration among businesses, nonprofits, government, local neighborhoods, and individuals. So, let’s continue to forge meaningful partnerships with those outside our silos. Seek out others close to the problem you are trying to solve and ensure you are engaging a diverse group of stakeholders. I think you’ll find that what we can achieve together is far greater than what we can achieve alone.

Courtney McDade

Courtney McDade first joined Independence Blue Cross in January 2006 as a member of the Human Resources department. She went on to play a leading role in establishing the IBC Foundation in 2011 and continued to increase her responsibility in managing strategic projects in Public Affairs. In her current position, Courtney manages the Community Affairs department, including the Blue Crew corporate volunteer program and United Way campaign. Her work focuses on engaging associates and community partners in meaningful service projects that improve the health and well-being of our neighborhoods. Courtney received her Bachelor’s degree in Business from Wake Forest University in 2005 and graduated with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from La Salle University in May 2016. Courtney loves to volunteer and is always looking for new opportunities to support the community where she, her friends and family live and work.