Highlights 10 years and $10 million in support for nursing education and leadership
Philadelphia, PA – As the nation celebrates National Nurses Week May 6-12, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation marks the 10th anniversary of what began as the Independence Blue Cross (IBC) Nurse Scholars program and has since evolved into the IBC Foundation’s Nurses for Tomorrow initiative. That program is dedicated to strengthening the nursing workforce through nurse education and collaborations in southeastern PA. Combined, the programs have awarded undergraduate and graduate nursing scholarships to several thousand nursing students as well as faculty positions at 22 local nursing schools. It has also provided learning experiences for more than 150 student nurse interns in the five-county area. Since 2004, Independence Blue Cross and the IBC Foundation have provided more than $10 million in nurse-related funding.
“Support for nursing is a cornerstone of our work at the Foundation and we recognize, like so many others, the critical role nurses play, and will continue to play, in our lives,” said IBC Foundation president Lorina Marshall-Blake. “We are excited to honor and celebrate their contributions during National Nurses Week, but also each and every day through our investment in the next generation of nurses.”
The Pennsylvania Center for Workforce Information and Analysis estimates the current statewide shortage of registered nurses as 4.9 percent and projects that the shortage could grow to 14.2 percent by 2017. In addition to ensuring there are enough nurses to care for those in need, the IBC Foundation is also working with local agencies to increase the number of nurses able to care for diverse populations in different health care settings as more newly insured people seek care after health care reform is fully implemented.
The Foundation also celebrates nurses and their critical role in improving the quality of health care with the latest issue of the Journal of Change. This bi-annual magazine, dedicated to ideas and people transforming health care in our region, is focused on nurses’ contributions to health care, including a cover story about a multi-generational family of nurses.
About the IBC Foundation
In October 2011, Independence Blue Cross, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, launched the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, a charitable, private foundation, whose mission is to transform health care through innovation in the communities it serves. The IBC Foundation and Independence Blue Cross, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, are both committed to improving the health and wellness of the people of southeastern Pennsylvania. The foundation targets the following areas of impact:
- Caring for our most vulnerable: Supporting private, nonprofit community health center clinics that deliver quality, cost-effective primary, medical, and dental care to uninsured and underinsured people.
- Enhancing health care delivery: Strengthening the nursing workforce through education, career development, and research.
- Building healthy communities: Partnering with community leaders and programs to address community health and wellness needs.
Connect with us the IBC Foundation on Twitter at @ibxfdn.