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Press Release

Independence Blue Cross Salutes Nurses During National Nurses Week

Philadelphia, PA - May 6, 2010 - In honor of National Nurses Week, May 6 to May 12, Independence Blue Cross (IBC) salutes nurses everywhere and continues to recognize the invaluable role they play in the nation's health care system. IBC especially celebrates the efforts of the many nurses in southeastern Pennsylvania who work tirelessly to improve the health of its members and the community.

Through its unique social mission, IBC has always demonstrated meaningful support for future nurses and nursing professionals in the community. In 2004, IBC created its Nurse Scholars Program to increase the current supply of nurses and nurse educators in our five county region and to provide long-term solutions that alleviate the root causes of care shortages.

"Maintaining the health and wellness of our community is one of the most important objectives of IBC's social mission," said Stephen Fera, IBC's vice president of government and social mission programs. "We are proud of our longstanding partnerships with nursing schools, educators, and students and the profound impact these nurses have on our community and the health care we all receive. Thanks for all you do."

IBC's Nurse Scholars Program is a $10.75 million commitment through 2010, including a match from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation, in an effort to address the nursing shortage. To date, IBC has provided $8.5 million for more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate scholarships to future practice nurses and nurse educators at 31 accredited area nursing programs. The company also engages nursing students through internships and over the years has provided nearly 90 administration and clinical internship opportunities to undergraduate nursing students.

IBC also organizes and hosts nursing education forums to recognize the Nurse Scholars Program student scholarship recipients, celebrates nurse educators, and promotes dialogue about the nursing shortage and other issues facing the nursing profession. To find out more about the Nurse Scholars Program and other social mission initiatives at IBC, visit www.ibx.com.

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.

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