Sapphire Awards provide nearly $500,000 to Honorees Addressing Poverty

 

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.

Susan Towler, Florida Blue Foundation Vice President

“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.

These honorees represent the best in community health in our state,” said Florida Blue Foundation Vice President Susan Towler.

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 MiamiMiami-Dade County
    Award focus: Opioids/Substance Abuse
    Award amount: $70,000

Finalist:

  • 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

For more information, visit www.floridablue.com

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