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Florida's Top Health Care Nonprofits Honored With 2008 Sapphire Awards
Date:12/5/2008

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of the best Florida nonprofits successfully addressing health care disparities across the state, The Blue Foundation for a Healthy Florida, the philanthropic affiliate of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF), today announced its 2008 Sapphire Award honorees at a ceremony in Orlando.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050112/NEW019LOGO )

The Sapphire Award is the only Florida statewide award that recognizes and promotes health-related programs that have demonstrated excellence and impact in improving the health-related outcomes of Florida's uninsured and underserved.

There are two Winners of the 2008 Sapphire Award and its accompanying $100,000:

    -- All 'Bout Children -- Building Wellness, Resilience, and School
       Readiness: A Preschool Preventative Intervention in West Palm Beach;
       and

    -- Memorial Foundation -- Health Intervention with Targeted Services
       (HITS) Program in Hollywood.


    Other honorees include:
    -- BayCares, Inc., Panama City -- Award of Distinction ($75,000);

    -- Capital Medical Society Foundation -- We Care Network, Tallahassee --
       Award of Distinction ($75,000); and

    -- Charlotte Behavioral Health Care, Inc. -- Healthy Families Charlotte
       County -- Honorable Mention ($25,000).

Established in 2005, The Sapphire Award recognizes and rewards nonprofit community health programs that have demonstrated success and high merit and have a record of improving the health of their community through measurable outcomes.

"We are proud to honor nonprofits making a significant positive impact on the health and well being of people in our state," said Susan Towler, executive director, The Blue Foundation for a Healthy Florida. "They are truly models of success when it comes to providing essential health services to our underserved and uninsured neighbors who might otherwise go without care."

To be eligible for The Sapphire Award, organizations must be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code; officially reside and be incorporated in the state of Florida; and have programs that are involved with health-related services. Programs are nominated by three persons familiar with the organization and are reviewed by an independent selection committee made up of medical, public health and health communication experts from across the country and Florida. A total of 21 organizations were nominated for the 2008 Sapphire Award.

Including the 2008 nominees and honorees, a total of 188 nonprofits and health programs have been nominated for excellence in community health programming. Of that number, nine Winners, five Awards of Distinction, seven Honorable Mentions and four Finalists were recognized and shared $1,425,000 in award funds.

The Blue Foundation for a Healthy Florida is a separate, philanthropic affiliate of 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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SOURCE The Blue Foundation for a Healthy Florida
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