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Philanthropy Spotlight: Florida Blue

In honor of National Philanthropy Day, Nov. 15, 2020, and this season of giving, Jacksonville University would like to thank our donors and partners by shining a light on their generous support. Following, please enjoy comments from Darnell Smith, Florida Blue north Florida market president.

Q:  What is your company’s philanthropic philosophy?
A:  Florida Blue’s mission is to help people and communities achieve better health. One way we do this is through our partnerships with local groups and the philanthropic efforts of the Florida Blue Foundation, which strategically allocates grants toward community-based solutions within its focus areas – food security, mental well-being and health equity. Florida Blue and its foundation do not make grants or charitable contributions to organizations that discriminate in their provision of goods and services based on race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sex, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, veteran status or marital status.

Q:  How does your contribution to Jacksonville University support that philosophy?
A:  Health education is key to our mission of helping people and communities achieve better health. Whether it is through nursing, public health administration, data analytics or health literacy, the education that JU provides its students helps Florida Blue pursue its mission.

Florida Blue 2020 Philanthropy Spotlight In-text image
Phins Up from Florida Blue!

Q:  In addition to donations, what are some other ways that Florida Blue supports Jacksonville University and its students.
A:  We partner with JU leadership to develop programs and curriculum that advance business growth, development and success. One example is our partnership to develop a best-in-class cybersecurity range at JU. We also celebrate the success of JU alumni at our company which helps to encourage employees to pursue degrees at JU. For the past two years, Florida Blue has hosted Dolphin Delivery, in which JU leadership comes to our campus to meet with our 145 employees who are JU alumni. We are also very pleased to offer our employees an opportunity to earn a master’s degree in health informatics through JU. It is a fast-growing field, and the degree offers employees a chance to take a leadership role within our company.

Q:  If you have JU students/graduates working for your company now, please comment on the caliber of their work contributions and how, after contributing to their university, they are now able to contribute back to your company.
A:  Tianna Brannon, who recently received her master’s degree from JU, works in our human resources area as a talent acquisition specialist. She has shown good progression within the company, and we are very happy to have her on our team. Here is what she had to say about getting her master’s at JU:

Tianna Brannon pictured with former and current Florida Blue human resources leaders Bob Wall
and Amy Ruth

“My experience at JU was amazing! My professors were great from start to finish. I was ranked within the Top 40 Business Students in 2017. It has impacted my work at Florida Blue by allowing me to see the business world through a different lens. I have been able to help my colleagues understand change from a different view.”

Tianna Brannon, Jacksonville University Class of 2018