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The Foundation

Charity, Philadelphia

IBX Foundation Collaborates with Temple University to Create a Pathway to Nursing for Students of Color

CEO Greg Deavens, (on right) Temple president Jason Wingard with IBC Foundation Healthcare Scholars, (l to r) Hannah Mahler Sakeesha Similien, Jamirah Branch, and Justine Jones.

The Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation) announced new grant funding for a collaboration with Temple University’s College of Public Health and Department of Nursing to create a direct pathway to nursing from high school to college for students of color. The IBC Foundation Healthcare Scholars Pipeline Program will provide full four-year scholarships, which cover tuition and educational expenses, for students of color pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree at Temple University.

Dr. Lorina MarshallBlake, President of the IBC Foundation

The program will:
 Provide full 4-year academic scholarships for up to 20 students of color to pursue a Bachelor of
Science in Nursing degree from Temple
 Support students through learning communities, tutoring, and additional academic resources
 Offer mentorship and experiential learning opportunities for high school students to raise awareness of
nursing as a career and help them meet Temple admissions criteria
 Provide job placements within Temple University Health System upon graduation

Gregory E. Deavens, Independence Blue Cross president and CEO. “Independence is a champion of health equity and social change, ta

“A diverse nursing workforce is essential to providing culturally competent care in communities of color, so we must make sure nursing education is an option for all who want to enter the career,” said Gregory E. Deavens, Independence Blue Cross president and CEO. “Independence is a champion of health equity and social change, tackling challenges through partnerships like the Healthcare Scholars Pipeline Program. We are proud to work with Temple University and Philadelphia-area high schools to launch this program and mark another milestone in our twenty-year journey of support for nursing.”

Dr. Jason Wingard, president of Temple University.

“We’re immensely grateful to have the Independence Blue Cross Foundation as a partner in this important endeavor,” said Dr. Jason Wingard, president of Temple University. “Through this collaboration, our College of Public Health will facilitate the development of a pipeline of highly-talented and diverse nurses. The importance of intentionally targeting these frontline practitioners is crucial given the current complexities of the healthcare system. So, we’re excited to collaborate with the Independence Blue Cross Foundation to enhance equity and access of training in support of preparing a best-in-class workforce.”

Steve Fera is executive vice president of public affairs at Independence Blue Cross (Independence).

Senator Christine Tartaglione, Councilperson Shariff Street, Councilperson Cindy Bass, with teachers, mentors, and students from Temple

In addition to full scholarships, students will receive academic support including paid internships, learning communities and mentorships to further support their undergraduate nursing experience and academic achievement. The initial cohort will include five students from north Philadelphia and surrounding neighborhood high schools and will later expand to additional schools and up to 20 students.

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IBX Foundation Sponsors Phila School District Back-to-School Bus Tour

To help the community prepare for a successful return to full, in-person learning on August 31, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation) jointly announced with the School District of Philadelphia the first-ever Back-to-School Bus Tour last Friday at the School District location on Broad Street.

The Tour, which is funded by the Foundation, will provide critical back-to-school information and services to students and families, including free required childhood immunizations.

Dr. William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D. Superintendent, SDP and Lorina Marshall Blake, President, Independence Blue Cross Foundation standing inside The School District of Philadelphia Welcome Back Bus.

Stephen Fera is executive vice president of public affairs at Independence Blue Cross, Sheila Hess, City Rep and Mayor Jim Kenney

Kicking off on August 9 at the Jardel Recreation Center, the specially-wrapped buses will visit 31 neighborhoods through August 27.

At each stop, students and families will have an opportunity to meet with School District of Philadelphia Street Team Ambassadors who will share details for pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade registration and assist with signing up for the Parent Portal. Students will also be able to receive a free backpack and school supplies.

What’s in the bag, lip balm, a water bottle, hand sanitizer and info on school policies as well as vaccinations needed to attend school, which were being administered for free, plus physicals to play athletics. A complete list of the Back-to-School Bus Tour stops and the latest back-to-school updates can be found at philasd.org/ringthebell.



Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation) is a private, corporate charitable foundation that was established in 2011 with a mission to lead sustainable solutions that improve the health and well-being of the community. The Foundation has awarded more than $48M in grants to nonprofits and academic institutions in the southeastern Pennsylvania region whose programs and services address access to care, the health care workforce, and nonprofit sustainability.

Have a great school year!!