Inspiration... The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation

Posted on Feb 18th 2011 by Florida Blue

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Celebrating 10 Years, a New Name and a Million Successes
The Pursuit of Health is all about INSPIRING our friends, families and neighbors to achieve the most they can out of their lives.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation has been helping Floridians to do just that for a decade! The Foundation, the philanthropic affiliate of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, continues to celebrate its 10-Year Anniversary today at the Sapphire Award Symposium in Orlando. We are proud of the work The Foundation has done and wanted to take this opportunity to share some of their amazing results.
To get an overview of the tremendous impact this organization has made on improving access to health care in the state of Florida, we sat down with Cyrus M. Jollivette, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs with BCBSF and Chair of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation Board of Directors.
Russ shared with us that the BCBSF Foundation is the only state-wide health care philanthropy in Florida. It began in 2001, under the name The Blue Foundation for a Healthy Florida as a small organization that made grants to nonprofits to enhance access to quality health related services for the uninsured and underserved people of Florida.  Over the course of the decade, the Foundation has grown its philanthropic activities to include addressing childhood obesity, the use of simulation in nurse education and the creation of The Sapphire Award to recognize excellence among community health programs.
“One million Floridians” is the accomplishment Russ is most proud of. It is truly remarkable that the Foundation has been able to provide health-related services to more than one million people, across all 67 Florida counties, who would not otherwise have had this access.  Through partnerships with 280 non-profit organizations across the state the Foundation enabled one million Floridians to gain access to the health care they needed.
The Foundation is very focused on its new mission of improving the health and well-being of Floridians and their communities. It has expanded its focus to include five categories of giving: 1) improving access to health care; 2) improving consumer health; 3) improving quality and safety of patient care; 4) improving quality of life; and 5) improving the health care system.
“In order to be truly effective at achieving this goal, we are responsive to current needs,” says Russ. An example is the grant made in early 2010 to the food banks across the state.  More than 1.1 million pounds of food, equaling 857,353 meals were distributed to 15,773 families (counted as a family of four) during a time of great need in our state.  Russ describes his work with the Foundation as “very meaningful” and is passionate about the fact that it further connects the parent organization to the true needs of the citizens of Florida at a grassroots level.
There is so much more to tell – but here are a few of the stories of the Foundation’s work in partnership with Florida nonprofits that inspire us!
·     We are INSPIRED by the story of Robert* who can now see clearly because of the vision screening, glaucoma treatment and eyeglasses he received from Vision is Priceless Council.
·     We are INSPIRED by Dina* who was born healthy because of the prenatal care her mother received at The Way Free Medical Clinic.
·     We are INSPIRED by John*, who is no longer homeless as a result of receiving medical care from Helping Hands. The health care he received enabled him to get and keep a job and move from the woods to an apartment.
·     We are INSPIRED by all of the nonprofit leaders and volunteers across our great state who dedicate themselves to the people most in need!
We can’t wait to see what the Foundation accomplishes in its next decade!
*names changed to protect privacy

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Thanks James, I will pass this information along and let you know if we have any questions. Thank you!

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