The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida (EFOF) was honored as a Sapphire Awards program finalist on Thursday, May 3 by the Florida Blue Foundation during its 2018 Sapphire Awards, a highlight of the Florida Blue Foundation’s annual Community Health Symposium. As part of the recognition, EFOF was presented with a $30,000 financial award.

The Sapphire Awards, held this year at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, recognize excellence and innovation in community health. Awards finalists are named in three categories (programs, organizations, and individuals), and undergo a competitive external review process evaluating effectiveness and services that are distinguished by exemplary leadership, innovation in service delivery, and demonstrated successes in community health. Overall, there were nine 2018 Sapphire Awards finalists and a total of approximately $360,000 shared among the honorees.

EFOF, a finalist in the program category, was honored for its Healthcare Navigation program which provides underserved, previously-uninsured populations with access to health insurance and the knowledge to successfully use it. The program has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a best practice, and EFOF has been tapped to mentor other navigation agencies across the country. The organization will use its $30,000 financial award to continue providing programs and services to meet the needs of the more than 400,000 Floridians living with epilepsy and seizures across the state of Florida.

“We are beyond honored to be recognized as a 2018 Sapphire Awards program finalist,” said Karen Basha Egozi, CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida. “Through the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida’s Healthcare Navigation program, we are proud to serve as a certified source of healthcare education, counseling, and assistance for Floridians, especially for our most vulnerable populations. Thank you to the Florida Blue Foundation for recognizing the impact of this program in our Florida communities.”

EFOF was previously recognized as a Sapphire Awards honoree by the Florida Blue Foundation, receiving an organizational Award of Distinction in 2007.

Carson Pedraza

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