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PUBLISHED ON February 21, 2024

Fundación Triple-S Host “Advancing Social Connection and Health in Puerto Rico” Panel

(From left to right): José Novoa, Chief Medical Officer, Triple-S; Ivelisse Fernández, Chief Growth and Customer Experience Officer, Triple-S; Ciení Rodríguez, Secretary, Puerto Rico Department of the Family; Thurman Justice, CEO & President, Triple-S; Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General;  Pat Geraghty, President & CEO GuideWell and Florida Blue; Shanira Pabón, Director of Special Projects at Nuestra Escuela, Inc.; Ilia Rodríguez, President of the Puerto Rico Chapter of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM); Lydia Figueroa, Executive Director, Fundación Triple-S.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – The U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, joined Fundación Triple-S (Triple-S Foundation) and other community leaders today to explore the impact of social isolation and loneliness on overall health in Puerto Rico and what can be done to build social connections among the elderly, the youth and everyone in between.  

The discussion was held today at the Puerto Rico Art Museum among a select audience representing key sectors, such as health care, government officials, nonprofit community organizations, the academic community, and the business sector.

“Today marks an important step in recognizing social isolation and loneliness as one of the most pressing public health issues that needs to be addressed in Puerto Rico,” said Thurman Justice, CEO of Triple-S and President of the Fundación Triple-S board of directors. “I appreciate Dr. Murthy’s efforts in taking on this issue and bringing awareness to the need for increased support to address the needs of our citizens.”

On hand to explore the effects of social isolation and loneliness in Puerto Rico as well as projects that are addressing these social factors was Ciení Rodríguez, Secretary of the Family Department of Puerto Rico; Shanira Pabón, director of Special Programs of Nuestra Escuela; Ilia Rodríguez, President of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM); Lydia Figueroa, Executive Director of Fundación Triple-S and Dr. José Novoa, board member of Fundación Triple-S and Chief Medical Officer of Triple-S.

The U.S Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, whose office focuses on promoting social connection; mental health and workplace well-being, explained the effects of social isolation and loneliness on health and shared some of the more effective ways to address these social factors. In 2023, Dr. Murthy issued an advisory on what has been termed as an epidemic of loneliness and social isolation in the U.S.

“I am encouraged by Fundación Triple-S and its community partners’ work to address social isolation and loneliness in Puerto Rican communities. Social connection can advance physical, mental, and cognitive health, and it is even associated with a decreased risk of mortality. Making the time to incorporate moments of connection into our daily lives to build, strengthen and prioritize the relationships in our lives is not only important but good for our overall health and well-being,” said Dr. Murthy.

Fundación Triple-S has focused on addressing social isolation and loneliness since 2022 and has funded 16 projects that address the needs of diverse groups. In addition, it has dedicated efforts to social awareness with media campaigns and other initiatives, training for medical doctors, efforts at creating public policy and research to assess the degree of social isolation and loneliness prevalent in the population.

“There is a growing effort on the part of our foundation, NGOs, and the public and private sectors to support our friends and neighbors who are suffering from the detrimental effects of social isolation and loneliness and promote greater health through social connection,” said Lydia Figueroa, Executive Director of Fundación Triple-S.


About Fundación Triple-S

Fundación Triple-S was established in 2017 to initially respond to the needs of the Puerto Rican community following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. The organization is now focused on making an impact on the social determinants of health related to food security and social isolation.

About Triple-S Management Corporation  

Triple-S Management, a health services company, serves nearly one-third of Puerto Rico’s population. With almost 65 years of experience, it is the premier insurance and managed care brand, with the largest customer base on the island. Triple-S Management has the exclusive right to use the Blue Cross Blue Shield name and mark throughout Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla.   In Puerto Rico, Triple-S Management offers a broad portfolio of managed care and related products in the commercial, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid segments. Triple-S Management is also a well-known brand in the life insurance and property and casualty insurance segments in Puerto Rico, with strong customer relationships and significant market share. For more information about Triple-S Management, visit