Press Release

Independence Blue Cross champions two more innovative health events

Philadelphia, PA - February 13, 2013 - This February, Independence Blue Cross (IBC) demonstrates its commitment to changing the game in health care delivery by sponsoring two local events aimed at finding ways to transform the industry. IBC is the silver sponsor of both the Startup Weekend Health Philadelphia and the 19th Annual Wharton Healthcare Business Conference from February 14-17.

Bringing new ideas in health care to life

During Startup Weekend Health Philadelphia, IBC executives will bring their expertise to the 54-hour, super-charged event. The IBC team will be coaching and mentoring like-minded individuals who believe there is a better way for our health care system to function — and who have the passion to spend the weekend working to bring new ideas to life.

Participating IBC executives include:

  • Michael Vennera, vice president of strategy and innovation;
  • Kimberly Eberbach, vice president of wellness and community health;
  • Ravi Chawla, director of consulting business services; and
  • Gerald Peden, M.D., vice president of processing services.

The weekend focuses on building a web or mobile application that could be the basis for a startup business and brings together clinicians, software developers, graphic designers, and business people looking to either pitch their ideas and find a team or join a team to build a compelling solution. Teams will develop business models, give presentations, and receive feedback from local entrepreneurs. A final jury determines which teams win in-kind awards, such as donated co-working space, networking opportunities, travel opportunities, and other prizes that can directly impact the progress and success of Startup Weekend teams.

IBC also sponsored the June 2012 Startup Weekend Health Philadelphia, which was the first of more than 500 Startup Weekends worldwide to focus exclusively on health care’s unique concerns.

The 2013 Startup Weekend Health Philadelphia will be held Friday, February 15 through Sunday, February 17 at VentureF0rth, 417 N. 8th Street.

More than 700 to attend business conference

IBC is also the silver sponsor for the 19th Annual Wharton Health Care Business Conference, a health care business forum for industry professionals, academics, and students. The two-day event typically attracts hundreds of attendees from across the country, and will include speakers, panel discussions, special events, and various networking opportunities.

This year’s conference, Reshaping Healthcare: Emerging Trends Changing the Face of Our Industry, explores the continuing evolution of health care and features such topics as:

  • Strategic impacts of an aging population
  • Mobile health
  • Health care opportunities in emerging markets
  • Health care policy: Paying less, covering more
  • Modern epidemics: Obesity and diabetes
  • Personalized treatments

The Wharton Health Care Business Conference is Friday, February 15 at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia.

In addition to its sponsorship of local industry events, IBC is transforming health care by supporting innovative projects and solutions that can improve the health and wellness of the people in the Philadelphia region. Other initiatives include:

  • IBX Game Changers Challenge: Enhancing health and wellness through innovation - Launched in June 2012 in partnership with Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, the Department of Public Health of the City of Philadelphia, ?What If! Innovation Partners, and Venturef0rth, the Challenge was a six-week competition seeking innovative solutions to deliver a positive impact on the region’s health, with special emphasis on driving healthy behaviors such as eating right and getting fit. The three winning ideas covered psychiatric services, healthy eating tools for kids, and overcrowding in emergency rooms.
  • DreamIt Health, powered by IBC and Penn Medicine - In December 2012, IBC teamed up with Penn Medicine (the University of Pennsylvania Health System) and DreamIt Ventures to sponsor the first-ever Philadelphia-based national health care “accelerator,” which will jump start new companies developing innovative solutions in health care. This collaboration marked the first time a leading health insurer and a leading health care provider have come together to offer entrepreneurs from across the nation the resources they need to capitalize on emerging health care opportunities.

About Independence Blue Cross

Proudly celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2013, Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we have 3.1 million members nationwide. We are enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we’re changing the game, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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