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Weston, Fla. - April 27, 2015

Celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its Sapphire Awards honoring health care related leaders and initiatives, Florida Blue Foundation announced awards of $325,000 to five winners on Thursday during a luncheon ceremony. The awards concluded the two-day Sapphire Symposium that gathered attendees from across the state to hear from national and state speakers on a range of health-related topics.

Sapphire Award winners:

Organization Category

  • $100,000 - Florida Department of Health in Indian River County, Vero Beach
  • $50,000 - The Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Miami-Dade

Program Category

  • $100,000 - Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Program, Farmworker Association of Florida, Apopka

Individual Category

  • $50,000 - Margarita Romo, Founder and Executive Director, Farmworkers Self-Help, Dade City
  • $25,000 - Moody Chisholm, M.B.A., former president and CEO, St. Vincent’s HealthCare, Jacksonville

An independent panel of experts with state and national expertise in community health best practices selected the winners from among 164 nominees.

"We are honored today to recognize community health leaders and nonprofits who embody our foundation's mission and provide effective solutions for their clients," said Susan Towler, Florida Blue Foundation vice president.

Since 2005, Florida Blue Foundation has presented 60 Sapphire Awards, totaling more than $3.4 million, to nine individuals and 51 programs and organizations from across Florida. 

The Sapphire Awards honor outstanding individuals, programs and nonprofit organizations in community health care, or health care-related fields, whose work is distinguished by leadership, innovation and achievements in community health.

Florida Blue Foundation is a trade name of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation, Inc. Florida Blue Foundation is a separate, philanthropic affiliate of Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company. The Foundation and its parent are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information about the Foundation, please visit

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