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Families First among 3 Palm Beach County organizations honored by Florida Blue

Updated: Sep 3, 2023

Andres Torrens, CPO and Julie Swindler, CEO of Families First of Palm Beach County accepted the Florida Blue Foundation Sapphire Award, joined by Charlotte Gill and Scott Hansel from Community Partners. [Photo by Families First]

Families First of Palm Beach County received a second-place award and a $50,000 grant from the Florida Blue Foundation at its annual Sapphire Awards ceremony in April.

The foundation selected nine programs, organizations and individuals from across Florida for Sapphire Awards for their leadership, innovative ideas and outcomes. They all have improved mental health outcomes.

“As a mission-driven company focused on helping people and communities achieve better health, we are committed to improving access to care, including mental health support, to reduce the stressors that often impact entire families and communities,” says Susan Towler, the executive director of the Florida Blue Foundation.

Families First of Palm Beach County offers a range of programs and services, including a family support and coaching program, trauma-informed care for children up to age 5, mental health counseling for children through young adults, and family support services for such populations as relative caregivers and the chronically homeless. The organization has served over 51,000 children and family members in Palm Beach County since 1990.

“We are incredibly honored to be recognized, along with other community partners of Florida, by Florida Blue Foundation,” said Julie Swindler, the CEO of Families First. “This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff, volunteers and community partners, who work tirelessly to support families and strengthen our community. We are grateful for the recognition and will continue to strive to make a positive impact on the lives of those we serve.”

Families First’s early intervention programs are shown to reduce rates of child abuse, domestic violence, poverty, homelessness, and challenges related to behavioral and mental health.

Two other Palm Beach County programs were honored. The Health Care District of Palm Beach County (HCDPBC) Addiction Model was awarded $100,000 as a first place program, and the Alliance for LGBTQ Youth, based in West Palm Beach, was awarded second place.

For more information about Families First of Palm Beach County, visit and to learn more about the Sapphire Award visit


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