For the 10th consecutive year, Independence Blue Cross (IBX) partnered with Philadelphia magazine’s Be Well Philly to celebrate the annual Be Well Philly Health Hero Challenge finalists and winner. Presented by IBX, the contest recognized people from throughout the Philadelphia region who are working to make their communities healthier.
Chris Rathke, IBX manager of Advertising and Video Production, noted at the December 5 reception: “We are moved by the finalists’ dedication to achieving their mission each day; each of them advocating for change and creating a positive impact in our community.”
The editors at Be Well Philly received hundreds of nominations, which they narrowed down to 10 semi-finalists. The community was asked to vote for their Health Hero. Their votes helped narrow the list to three finalists and ultimately one Health Hero champion.
2023 Health Hero
Martino Cartier was awarded the title of 2023 Be Well Health Hero. Cartier is the founder of Wigs and Wishes, a nonprofit that grants free wigs to woman and children who lost their hair due to sickness. Gifts from generous sponsors and donors help fund the over 100,000 wigs and dozens of “wishes” Cartier has granted. With the $15,000 donated from this award, Cartier will be able to provide free wigs to women every day for the rest of December.
Two other finalists received a $2,500 donation to their charities:
- Alexia Doumbouya, founder and president at Cocolife Black, an organization that provides a safe space to celebrate Black moms who are expecting, affirm those navigating postpartum, and offer support to those moms who have experienced the loss of a child or significant loved one. Since its founding in 2019, Cocolife Black has provided hundreds of Black expecting mothers with free essential services.
- Stefanie Glick, executive director and creator of the LiveWell Foundation, which empowers people living with depression to transform their own lives through free and effective peer support and education. Since May 2020, more than 38,000 people have joined LiveWell’s virtual depression support groups which support people ages 14-89.