A CALL FOR NOMINATIONS
The Sapphire Awards were designed in 2005 by the Florida Blue Foundation to recognize and promote excellence and innovation in community health leadership and programming in Florida.
Award-winning organizations, programs and individuals will have demonstrated leadership, success, high merit and impact improving access to health-related services for, or the health-related outcomes of, Florida's at-risk populations and communities. The Sapphire Awards’ recognition is meant to promote greater and more lasting support for improved services and systems that can be sustained over time. Strategies that build upon community assets enhance organizational capacity, foster systemic change and/or lead to lasting policy changes that improve health will be especially sought after. Successful applications and nominations will demonstrate support for the mission of the Florida Blue Foundation: to improve the health and well-being of the underserved and underrepresented people of Florida and their communities.
The Sapphire Awards are not a grant program. While there is a financial award, applications and nominations should not be submitted with the sole intent of raising funds in mind. The Sapphire Awards are designed to recognize what has been accomplished (demonstrated success), not what is hoped to be accomplished.
- July 24, 2015 – Nomination Applications for organizations, programs and individuals will be posted (see the Submitting a Nomination Application section below).
- September 18, 2015 – Nomination Application Submission Deadline Date.
- February 16, 2016 (approx.) – Finalists and un-successful nominees will be notified.
- April 21, 2016 – Honorees announced at the Sapphire Awards Luncheon to be held at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida
NOMINATING AN INDIVIDUAL, A NOT-FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATION, OR A PROGRAM
NOMINATION APPLICATION PROCESS and ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES
Organizations and Programs:
- An organization may submit a Sapphire Award application seeking recognition for the impact of a single health-related program, or the collective impact all its health-related programs, but not both in the same year. An organization may submit one nomination application per year.
- An organization seeking recognition for a single health-related program should submit a PROGRAM nomination application while an organization seeking recognition for the collective impact of all its health-related programs should submit an ORGANIZATION nomination application. Both nomination applications may be accessed by clicking on the corresponding link in the Submitting a Nomination Application section at the bottom of this page.
- Organizations named as “Winners” of the Sapphire Awards in previous years for the collective impact of all their health-related programs may NOT submit another ORGANIZATION nomination application. These Winners may, however, submit a PROGRAM nomination application as long as they currently operate two or more distinct health-related programs.
- Organizations named as “Winners” of the Sapphire Awards in previous years for the impact of a single health-related program may NOT reapply for the same program. These Winners may, however, submit a nomination application seeking recognition for a different program.
- Organizations, programs and individuals recognized as a “Finalist,” “Honorable Mention” or “Award of Distinction Honoree,” whether for a single health-related program or the collective impact of multiple programs, must wait three (3) years before submitting another nomination application. As such, all Finalists, Honorable Mentions and Award of Distinction Honorees recognized in 2013, 2014, or 2015 cannot submit a nomination application.
- Organizations recognized as a Finalist, Honorable Mention or Award of Distinction Honoreein 2012 and earlier, whether for a single health-related program or the collective impact of multiple programs, may reapply again this year.
- Organizations applying for a Sapphire Award must be incorporated in the state of Florida and the programs for which they are seeking recognition, either individually or collectively, must be currently conducted in the state of Florida.
- Organizations applying for a Sapphire Award must be either: A.) recognized as nonprofit and tax-exempt under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code (IRC) and defined as a public charity under 509(a) 1 or 2; or B.) a unit of Florida government (i.e., county health department, K-12 school, college, university, etc.).
- Type III Supporting Organizations and private foundations are NOT eligible to submit a nomination application.
- Nominated individuals must be licensed health care professionals, administrators or volunteers who have worked and/or volunteered in the state of Florida with a “qualified,” health-serving organization(s) that is/are physically located in Florida. Qualified health-serving organizations include: A.) organizations recognized as nonprofit and tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code (IRC) and defined as a public charity under 509(a)1 or 2; and B.) units of Florida government (i.e., county health department, K-12 school, college, university, etc.).
- While an individual may be nominated for his/her work as a professional, service as a volunteer or a combination of both, the nomination should focus heavily on the individual’s professional work and/or volunteer service performed in Florida.
- Individuals may be nominated for a career that spans more than one organization or community.
- Nominated individuals must have a proven record of mobilizing individuals, resources and organizations to improve the health of the people in Florida and their communities as evidenced through measurable outcomes.
- Nominated individuals can be active or retired.
- Nominated individuals must be alive and a resident of Florida at the time the nomination application is submitted. Posthumous nomination applications will not be considered.
- Individuals may be nominated by a peer, colleague, co-worker, staff member, board member, volunteer, patient, client from the organization where individual works and/or volunteers, or from separate organization. Self-nomination applications will not be accepted.
- Individuals affiliated with organizations that are current and/or former grantees and/or Sapphire Awards honorees of the Florida Blue Foundation are eligible to be nominated.
Nomination Applications can come from one person familiar with the organization, program or the individual being nominated. Organizations must include two (2) References from non-staff people such as current/former patients/clients, community leaders, elected officials, funders, representatives from partner agencies/organizations. References do not submit a form, but may be called upon by the Sapphire Awards Committee, if necessary. See Link at the bottom of this page for the Nomination Applications.
NOTE: Current and former employees, retirees and board members of the Florida Blue Foundation, Florida Blue (formerly Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida) and the subsidiaries and affiliates of Florida Blue, as well as their family members, are prohibited from being a nominator and a reference for a nominee. Additionally, current and former members of the Sapphire Awards Selection Committee, as well as their family members, are also prohibited from being a nominator and a reference for a nominee.
The Florida Blue Foundation uses a multi-step process to vet and select organizations, programs and individuals to be honored with a Sapphire Award. First, upon receipt of all nomination applications, the Florida Blue Foundation staff confirms the eligibility of organizations and nominated individuals, and verifies that nomination applications are complete. Next, an external evaluation team scores all nominated applications against the Selection Criteria listed below and, in concert with the Foundation staff, identifies a smaller group of “finalists.” An interview is then conducted with finalist applicants and nominators at which time additional information may be requested. In the final phase of the selection process, an independent committee composed of community/public health experts from across Florida and the nation reviews finalists' information and selects the organizations, programs and individuals to be honored and the award amounts. Honorees will be announced during the Sapphire Awards luncheon scheduled for April 21, 2016.
- Florida Blue Foundation does not make grants or charitable contributions to organizations that discriminate in their Provisions of goods and services based race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sex, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, Veteran status or marital status.
- All chosen finalists must be available for interviews and filming by the Foundation, and must be present to accept the award at the luncheon.
Individual Nomination Application-Specific:
One nomination application including two (2) References for an individual will be accepted. The quality of the written nomination application, the nominator and the references are what will be evaluated.
A total of approximately $360,000 will be shared among the honorees (organizations, programs and individuals' designated Florida-based, health-serving nonprofit). Organizations that are selected as Sapphire Awards Honorees will receive a financial prize to support their winning programs. In addition, limited promotional support will be made available to help educate the public and various stakeholders about the organizations and their programs. Honorees will be announced during the Sapphire Awards Luncheon scheduled for April 21, 2016.
SUBMITTING A NOMINATION APPLICATION:
The Florida Blue Foundation uses an online application process. After you have read and printed the above 2016 Sapphire Awards Nomination Application Process and Eligibility Guidelines, please click on the appropriate link below to either: A.) start a new Organization or Program Nomination Application; B.) start a new Individual Nomination Application; or C.) access an existing Nomination Application and/or form you already started and saved.
To submit a Nomination application, please click the appropriate button below:
To submit a nomination application seeking recognition for the impact of a single health-related program, click the button below:
To nominate an individual for his/her work in the field of community health, either as a professional, volunteer or combination of both, click the button below:
To access a nomination application that you started and saved, click the button below:
NOTE: Nomination Applications cannot be edited, modified or changed once submitted.
QUESTIONS and INFORMATION:
Phone: (800) 477-3736, ext. 63215
Florida Blue Foundation
4800 Deerwood Campus Parkway, DCC3-4
Jacksonville, FL 32246
Florida Blue Foundation is a trade name of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.