• Sam Gorodetzer

Helping IBX – as It Helps the Health of Millennials

Our 22-year-old associate Sam Gorodetzer gets to be part of Independence Blue Cross’s innovative “Well City Challenge” & learns a few lessons along the way.

Photo by R. Kennedy for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® Rusty Kennedy / 2012 EDITORIAL USE APPROVED ©VISITPHILADELPHIA®

The past year has been tough for everyone, coping with the stress and anxiety created by the global pandemic. As a 22-year-old recent college grad living on my own in the city, I share those pressures.


But I’m fortunate. My friends and family have remained healthy. And I was hired for a job that gives me the opportunity to work on an innovative public health campaign designed to address the specific health concerns of people like me.


The program, launched by Independence Blue Cross (IBX), is called the Well City Challenge. It’s a social impact project designed to address mounting millennial health challenges.

Millennials, and people like me who are millennial-adjacent, have seen rapid increases in eight of the top 10 health concerns. These include double-digit increases in depression, anxiety, substance abuse disorder, hypertension, and high cholesterol. These numbers were rising prior to the pandemic. Understandably, Covid-19 has only exacerbated the millennial health crisis. (For more information about the health of millennials, please visit the BCBSA Health of Millennials report)


That is where the Well City Challenge aims to step in. The Well City Challenge began with a call for ideas that could be developed into pilot programs. Currently, 15 finalist teams are entering into an incubator period where they will be paired with mentors to help refine their ideas. These finalists will then move on to a virtual pitch competition, where they will compete to win over $100,000 in prizes and investments.

I was initially slated for a supporting role, but that grew quickly after the onset of the project. I was, to sum it up, “optimistically terrified” at the responsibility. But I worked through it – participating in weekly strategy calls with members of the IBX and Economy League teams. I wrote press releases and media advisories. I interviewed applicants and helped decide which would become finalists. I pitched media and helped organize interviews. Heck, I even got to write a PSA that aired on radio stations throughout the region.


What started as a nerve-wracking endeavor became a terrific growth experience for me. As a young person in the business, I relish the chance I’ve had to learn from my partners at IBX and Ceisler Media.


In addition, I found it gratifying to participate in a community-focused project designed for the sole purpose of helping others. I consider myself lucky to be a part of this campaign, and I know that I am a stronger team member because of it.


Here are the 15 Well City Challenge finalist teams. Register for free to attend the virtual pitch competition using the link here.

Sam Gorodetzer is an Associate in Ceisler Media's Philadelphia Office.

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