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Contact Information: Jennifer Bryant | PH 904.798.3172 | jbryant@shepherdagency.com

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Florida Blue Foundation Awards Excellence and Innovation in Community Health

February 25, 2013

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The winners of the 2013 Sapphire Awards were announced by the Florida Blue Foundation (formerly Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation) at an awards luncheon in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 22.  The winning health-related individual and nonprofits, selected from more than 40 nominees across the state, were recognized for excellence and innovation in community health.  The overall prize winners, as well as an honorable mention will share $280,000 in prize money. 

“For the most vulnerable members of our society, nonprofits are there to provide after school programs for at-risk youth, treat chronic illnesses and offer dental care for uninsured, low-income families,” said Susan Towler, vice president, Florida Blue Foundation. “The Sapphire Awards allow us to honor the individuals and organizations that most closely align with our commitment to improve the health and well-being of the people and communities that call Florida home.”

Dr. Nancy Sisson Hardt, professor of Pathology and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Florida, received the individual honor for her work to start a mobile clinic that serves at-risk neighborhoods, as well as her work to develop a health disparity minor for UF undergraduates and open a volunteer, afterschool program for at-risk children.  St. Vincent’s HealthCare Foundation in Jacksonville, Fla., was recognized for its Mobile Health Outreach Ministry program and Community Smiles of Miami-Dade County was honored for its nonprofit dental clinic.  Womankind of Key West, a women’s health care center, received the honorable mention.

This year’s ceremony at The Peabody Orlando included an expanded program that featured national experts to address trends, emerging issues and best practices related to child health and wellness, access to care and health care reform.

Since the program’s inception, 45 health-focused nonprofits and individuals have been honored.

About the Florida Blue Foundation
The Florida Blue Foundation, formerly the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation, is a separate, philanthropic affiliate of Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company. The Foundation and its parent are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information about the Foundation, please visit www.bluefoundationfl.com.

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