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Press Release

IBC Partners with Drexel University with Funding for State-of-the-Art Training Complex

Simulation Center will serve thousands of medical students and health professionals

Philadelphia, PA - February 18, 2010 - Independence Blue Cross (IBC) business executives joined Drexel University staff, alumni, and community leaders today at the dedication ceremony for the completed new wing at the Drexel University College of Medicine Queen Lane campus. The addition showcases The Independence Blue Cross Medical Simulation Center, a state-of-the art facility that features life-like robots, simulation programs, and newly designed rooms where medical students and health professionals interact with actors portraying sick patients. The Center was funded in part through a $2.5 million donation from IBC.

"For many years, we've been a proud partner with Drexel on a variety of initiatives focused on our shared goal: to improve access to high-quality, affordable health care for people in the Philadelphia region," IBC president and chief executive officer Joseph A. Frick told more than 100 guests at today's ribbon cutting. "Today, with the unveiling of the Independence Blue Cross Medical Simulation Center, that partnership climbs to an exciting new height for both medical education and patient safety.  The Center's innovative, interactive technology will help health professionals — those studying medicine and practicing professionals dedicated to continuous improvement — learn how to provide safe, efficient and effective care in a well-monitored, and controlled environment."

The simulation center is part of a $9.3 million project at Queen Lane that also shares space with the Institute for Women's Health & Leadership and the Archives and Special Collections.

The simulation center will focus on clinical training with the objective of increased patient safety. The computer-driven robotic mannequins exhibit life-like vital signs, including heartbeats, blood pressures, and body and eye movements. They can be programmed to display a variety of normal and abnormal conditions, and to respond realistically to student interventions, such as intubation, drug injection, or cardiac defibrillation. They can even be programmed to speak or cry out in pain.

The Center and its programs will serve several thousand medical students, residents, and physicians affiliated with Drexel University College of Medicine through its 21 academic campuses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as other institutions in the region.

Since 2004, and including the Simulation Center funding, IBC has provided nearly $5 million of funding to Drexel, through support of its 11th Street Family Health Services Center, and by providing grants for more than 225 scholarships and internships to deserving nursing students who attend Drexel's College of Nursing and Health Professions.

The 11th Street Center is funded through IBC's Charitable Medical Care Grant Program, which supports 30 other local clinics that provide care for more than 100,000 under or uninsured people. Through its Nurse Scholars Program, IBC has awarded $8.5 million for more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate scholarships to future practicing nurses and nurse educators at more than 30 accredited area nursing programs.

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 3.3 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.