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Chester County Press

Independence Blue Cross Foundation takes opioid public health campaign to Capitol Hill

07/09/2019 12:21PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

On June 27, 17 ambassadors from Chester County and four other regional counties in southeastern Pennsylvania traveled to Washington, D.C. to share their personal stories – and the stories of their loved ones – with members of Congress, as part of Independence Blue Cross Foundation's “Someone You Know” campaign to fight opioid addiction.

The group also met with senators Pat Toomey and Robert Casey on the steps of the Capitol Building.

Speakers also included former Pa. Governor Thomas Ridge; State Reps. Madeleine Dean and Brian Fitzpatrick; Independence Blue Cross Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Steve Fera; and Independence Blue Cross Foundation President Lorina Marshall-Blake. 

Headquartered in Philadelphia, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation is a charitable, private foundation, whose mission is leading solutions for healthier communities in southeastern Pennsylvania, by improving access to quality, affordable health care in medically under-served areas; advancing the nursing workforce through education and professional development; and finding local solutions to national health issues through research and cross-sector partnerships.

The stories of other residents of southeastern Pennsylvania, including Chester County – have been woven into a new multimedia awareness campaign called “Someone You Know,” developed by the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, that is designed to reduce the stigma of opioid misuse and inspire hope in people seeking help with addiction and recovery.

The campaign features a mix of print and outdoor advertising, personal videos, and print stories from people affected by opioid misuse, such as men and women in active recovery, a mother who lost her son to an opioid overdose, and a grandmother raising her granddaughter while her son gets treatment.  The Foundation is collaborating with the Criminal Justice Research Center at Penn State University to enlist the individuals who have already shared their stories as part of the campaign.

The initial component of the “Someone You Know” campaign is to gain the attention of those who have chosen to keep their addiction – or their loved one's illness – a secret. Then, if they are so willing, the doors to recovery are open to them, chiefly through the foundation's Supporting Treatment and Overdose Prevention (STOP) initiative, aimed at increasing awareness about the opioid epidemic and improving access to opioid abuse prevention and treatment in southeastern Pennsylvania, through a variety of strategies and regional partnerships.  The “Someone You Know” campaign dovetails with the Foundation's efforts to fight the opioid epidemic through its Supporting Treatment and Overdose Prevention (STOP) initiative.

As part of the Foundation’s efforts to address the opioid crisis, it collaborates with local government agencies, schools, community-based organizations, and health care providers to humanize addiction and remove stigma as a barrier to treating Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Through these collaborations, it shares impactful stories about those affected by OUD.

To learn more about the Independence Blue Cross Foundation and its “Someone You Know” campaign, visit

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].