JACKSONVILLE, Fla., July 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Florida Blue Foundation has recognized individuals, programs and organizations that are addressing issues of poverty and opioids/substance abuse with its annual Sapphire Award for excellence and innovation in community health. Those recognized represent communities throughout the state of Florida. A total of $470,000 was awarded to six winners and a finalist.
As the 2020 Sapphire Awards dinner did not take place due to coronavirus concerns, the honorees will be recognized at the 2021 dinner, part of the Foundation's annual Community Health Symposium that brings together health advocates from across the country to discuss major health issues.
"Although we could not gather to award Sapphire trophies to these excellent community organizations this year, the outcomes and results achieved by these honorees are stellar and we didn't want to delay their recognition," said Florida Blue Foundation Vice President Susan Towler. "These honorees represent the best in community health in our state."
Since 2005, more than $5.5 million has been invested and 114 Sapphire Awards given to 29 individuals and 85 programs and organizations that effectively address health issues in their Florida communities.
2020 Florida Blue Foundation Sapphire Awards: Individual category: Winners
Sergio Palacio, Immediate Past Executive Director and Board Member, Farmworker Coordinating Council of Palm Beach County Award focus: Poverty Award amount: $50,000
Kathryn Thomas, Founder and Executive Director, Yoga 4 Change, Duval County Award focus: Opioids/Substance Abuse Award amount: $50,000
Program category: Winners
Medication Assisted Treatment for People With Opioid Use Disorder, Memorial Foundation, Broward County Award focus: Opioids/Substance Abuse Award amount: $70,000
IDEA Syringe Services Program, University of Miami, Miami-Dade County Award focus: Opioids/Substance Abuse Award amount: $70,000
Miami Hope Clinic, Chapman Partnership, Miami-Dade County Award focus: Poverty Award amount: $30,000
Organization category: Winners
Gateway Community Services, Duval County Award focus: Opioids/Substance Abuse Award amount: $100,000
Metropolitan Ministries, Hillsborough County Award focus: Poverty Award amount: $100,000
About Florida Blue Foundation Florida Blue Foundation enables healthy communities by making grants, building coalitions and rewarding best practices. More than three million people in Florida have received direct health services as a result of grants made to nonprofit organizations since our founding in 2001. Florida Blue Foundation is a trade name of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation, Inc., an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.