Skip to main content


Independence Blue Cross executive testifies to Philadelphia City Council

By February 27, 2013July 23rd, 2015Innovation Press Releases

Mike Vennera offers insight into IBC’s health care innovation in the region

Philadelphia, PA – Independence Blue Cross (IBC)’s Mike Vennera, vice president of strategy and innovation, addressed the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Global Opportunities and the Creative/Innovative Economy held jointly with Senator Michael Brubaker, Chairman of the Pennsylvania Senate International Commerce Caucus. As part of a health care panel, Vennera presented insight into IBC’s view of health care innovation in the Philadelphia community.

“We have been committed to enhancing the health and wellness of the people we serve for 75 years,” shared Vennera. “As the health care industry undergoes the largest changes in a generation, we face a number of significant challenges from a lack of access to an affordability crisis and the unsustainable costs of an older, sicker population. But, with these challenges lies great opportunity.”

Vennera cited specific examples of how IBC is changing the game and reaching out to the community for innovative solutions around health and wellness.

  • IBX Game Changers Challenge — A collaborative effort between IBC and Deputy Mayor and Health Commissioner Donald Schwarz, the Philadelphia Department of Health, and the Wharton Entrepreneurial Program.
  • DreamIt Health — The first-ever Philadelphia-based health care accelerator powered by IBC, DreamIt Ventures, and Penn Medicine. Also, the first accelerator nationally to pair a leading payor and leading health system.

Vennera concluded, “Philadelphia has all of the right ingredients — world class universities and teaching hospitals, a strong health and life sciences economy, and an active entrepreneurial community — to be a national magnet for health care innovation, investment, and employment.”

The committee hearings were held in Council Chambers at City Hall, and topics included health care, international trade and investment, global business and industry opportunities, manufacturing, higher education, international business sectors, and professional business services. The health care panel also included Leonard Karp, president and CEO of Philadelphia International Medicine, and Peter M. Grollman, vice president, government affairs of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Media contact
Laura Hanes