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Independence Blue Cross recognized with the Founders’ Award at the Urban Affairs Coalition Annual Awards

Pictured left to right: Arun Prabhakaran, president of the Urban Affairs Coalition; Sharmain Matlock-Turner, CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition; Greg Deavens, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross; Rev. Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake, vice president of Community Affairs at Independence Blue Cross and president of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation

Independence Blue Cross (Independence) was recognized with the Founders’ Award by the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) at the organization’s 54th Annual Awards and Networking Breakfast on November 17. President and CEO Gregory E. Deavens accepted the award on behalf of Independence. 

The UAC’s Founders’ Award recognizes UAC partners for their distinguished, long-term service to the organization and for exemplifying the principles of UAC’s founders:  

  • Serving as activators rather than administrators 
  • Providing a forum where diverse members of the community can discuss, define and research problems and solutions; 
  • Drawing the community, in all its aspects, together.  

In his acceptance remarks, Deavens mentioned Independence’s commitment to health equity. Independence is one of 12 founding members of Accelerate Health Equity, a multi-year initiative to measure systematic race-based inequities and barriers in health care with hopes to find the most effective solutions. Independence is also aligned with major health systems and educational institutions in the Coalition to Eliminated Race-Based Medicine, which is working to remove race “adjustments” from 15 commonly used clinical decision support tools that may adversely impact patients’ outcomes. 

Deavens also mentioned the Independence Blue Cross Foundation’s Institute for Health Equity, which works to address policies and practices that have hindered communities from achieving optimal health by promoting system-level change through multidisciplinary, collaborative partnerships. Lorina Marshall-Blake, the IBX Foundation’s president, also serves as chair of the UAC’s board. 

Other award recipients at the ceremony included Calvin G. Butler Jr., president and CEO of Exelon; Jeffrey Lurie, chairman and CEO of the Philadelphia Eagles; and Estelle Richman, executive director of the Civic Coalition to Save Lives. 

Independence is a long-time supporter of the Urban Affairs Coalition. The UAC unites government, business, neighborhoods, and individual initiative to improve the quality of life in the region, build wealth in urban communities, and solve emerging issues.