Independence nurses event

Independence Blue Cross Foundation President Lorina Marshall-Blake, second from left, discusses the organization’s new programs at a recent event for National Nurses Week. She is joined by Steve Fera, left, a senior vice president at Independence Blue Cross; Roberta Waite, an assistant dean at Drexel University; and Dan Hilferty, CEO at Independence Blue Cross. — PHOTO SUBMITTED BY INDEPENDENCE BLUE CROSS

Since 2004, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation and Independence Blue Cross have invested $20 million to help advance the education and professional development of nurses and nurse leaders.

In recognition of National Nurses Week (May 6-12), the foundation recently held festivities to mark the occasion for area nursing professionals at Independence LIVE.

Lorina Marshall-Blake, president on the foundation, announced at the event a new funding for graduate and doctoral nursing students.

The Nurses for Tomorrow program aims to promote and strengthen a diverse pipeline of future nurse practitioners and educators. It also will support community-based research or special projects.

The recipients of the grants will be announced early next year.

Marshall-Blake also introduced a new collaboration with Nurse.com, which provides educational sources for nurses with curriculum focusing on “warm hand-off” program, a policy and practice of transitioning overdose survivors from the emergency room to detox, rehab or other recovery treatments.

Attendees also heard from Dr. Roberta Waite, professor and assistant dean of Academic and Community Integration at Drexel University, who spoke about the evolving role of nurses throughout the health care system, including in communities, education and public policy.

The IBC Foundation has provided support for nearly 3,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral nursing scholarships at more than 20 schools in the region. In addition, nearly 200 students have participated in its 10-week nursing internship program, whose activities include leadership labs, research projects and mentorship.

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