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Press Release

Philly311 Contact Center Welcomes Loaned Call Agents From Independence Blue Cross

Philadelphia, PA - February 20, 2009 - Starting this month, the team answering calls at the city's new 311 non-emergency call center, Philly311, will add two new call agents who are on loan from Independence Blue Cross (IBC).  For the next six months, these on-loan call agents will bring their private sector call center and customer service expertise to Philly311. 

Since Philly311's launch on December 31, 2008, public reaction to the new information call center has been positive. Philly311 has received close to 145,000 calls and taken thousands of service requests for city departments.  Philly311 takes calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and the Philly311 Walk-In Center is open during normal business hours in City Hall room 167. 

To continue to provide prompt, helpful service as the center's call volume grows, Philly311 invited area corporations to loan employees with customer service expertise.

Mayor Michael A. Nutter said that "Philly311 will - now and over time - focus city government's attention on its primary mission: to provide citizens and visitors with excellent service.  To partner with an organization like Independence Blue Cross which has a similar mission of providing excellent service is very encouraging." 

"I have not heard of another 311 call center in the country that has this kind of public-private sector partnership.  We are excited to have Independence Blue Cross partner with us in providing excellent customer service, and we hope this is just the beginning of similar partnerships," said Managing Director Dr. Camille Barnett.

"All of us at Independence Blue Cross want to congratulate the Mayor on establishing this very important capability that will have a positive impact on so many residents of our city," said Joe Frick, IBC's president and CEO. "We are very pleased to collaborate with the city on Philly311."

"This is a mutually beneficial partnership - a development opportunity for two of our most promising customer service representatives to work side by side with capable city professionals, and the first public-private collaboration for the center," said Richard Macha, IBC's vice president for Customer Service & Operations Training.

"Our Philly311 call agents can benefit from private sector best practices, the agents from IBC can benefit from learning more about how the city works, and there is a mentoring opportunity for our newer agents," said Rosetta Carrington Lue, Philly311 Contact Center Director.  "It's a win-win-win situation." 

The two call agents loaned by IBC are Christopher Woods and Jimmie Sanders.  Mr. Woods has been with IBC for four years and Mr. Sanders has been with IBC for two years.  After an initial training period, Mr. Woods and Mr. Sanders will begin taking calls along with the other Philly311 call agents. 

About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. Nationwide, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.4 million people. For more than 70 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross's HMO and PPO health care plans have consistently received the highest ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. More information about Independence Blue Cross is available at www.ibx.com.

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