JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida's foundation, The Blue Foundation for a Healthy Florida, is presenting its Sapphire Award Symposium and Awards Presentation on Feb. 17-18, 2011, at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. The annual award program honors organizations that demonstrate excellence in addressing community health care needs. The event will also include a dinner and reception in honor of The Blue Foundation's 10-year anniversary.
"This year's Sapphire Award program will be exceptional as we celebrate a decade of improving Florida's health. Since the Foundation was incorporated in 2001, we have distributed 280 grants and awards totaling more than $17 million and touching the lives of approximately 1 million people," said Susan Towler, vice president, The Blue Foundation. "In my estimation, that is a cause for celebration as we look toward the future and improving the health of Floridians and their communities."
The premier state award that recognizes and promotes nonprofit health care programs, The Sapphire Award honors organizations that improve health-related outcomes for Florida's at-risk populations and communities. Honorees – selected by an independent selection committee comprised of medical, public health and health communication experts from across the country – receive a financial award to use toward their community health objectives.
The event begins on Thursday, Feb. 17 at 12 p.m. with a buffet luncheon. A 10-year anniversary reception will be held at 6 p.m., followed by an anniversary dinner at 7 p.m. with keynote speaker Gary L. Yates, president and CEO of The California Wellness Foundation. Friday's activities include a light breakfast and registration at 8 a.m., The Sapphire Award Symposium at 8:30 a.m. and announcement of Sapphire Award honorees and luncheon at 12:15 p.m.
The symposium keynote address is at 8:45 a.m. with Lisa Simpson, MD, MPH, CEO of AcademyHealth, who will discuss "Health Policy and Health Care Reform: the National Perspective."
Morning sessions include:
"Health Care Reform: How Health Insurance Companies are Responding" by Chip Kenyon, director, product/services management, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida;
"Health Care Reform and Access to Care in Florida" with Paul Duncan, Ph.D., chairman, Dept. of Health Services Research, Management and Policy, University of Florida;
"One Community's Road to Recovery, Hope and Healing" with Marsha Currant, executive director, and others from Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center;
"Childhood Obesity" with Debbie Chang, vice president, policy and prevention, Nemours;
"Great Collaborations" with Margaret Brennan, PCAN; Maureen Stapleton Kersmar, Florida Hospital; and Nancy Lascheid, Neighborhood Health Clinic.
Sessions will be repeated following a brief break.
Pre-registration for the event is required and the dress code is business attire. A $50 registration fee covers all activities during the two-day event. Register online at www.bluefoundationfl.com or call 1-800-477-3736, x-63215 for more information.
The Blue Foundation for a Healthy Florida is a separate, philanthropic affiliate of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF) incorporated in the state of Florida. The Blue Foundation for a Healthy Florida, and its parent, BCBSF, are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information on The Blue Foundation for a Healthy Florida, please visit its web site at www.bluefoundationfl.com.
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