Florida Hospital today awarded more than $1.5 million to five community projects that improve the health of the underserved and address societal issues in Central Florida.
"We are proud to support this year's grant recipients, who are dedicated to improving lives in Central Florida," said Daryl Tol, president & CEO of Florida Hospital and Central Florida Division - Adventist Health System. "And while their efforts are strengthening the well-being of our communities, we are also positively impacting the health-care industry by reducing preventable medical costs."
Florida Hospital's Community Health Impact Council, commonly known as CHIC, announced this year's recipient projects:
· Chronic Disease Self-Management Program: The CHIC grants funding for this community-based workshop in which people with different chronic health problems learn how to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives. ($200,000)
· Community Paramedicine: Working alongside Seminole County's Health Department, this program aims to improve the quality and access to care of patients by arranging for paramedics to following up with them for 30 days after they are discharged from a hospital. ($190,000)
· Health Access & Physician Partnership Initiative: This program provides low-income Osceola County residents access to a diagnostic system by offering affordable rates and free services to patients, as they travel through the health-care continuum for further testing and treatment. It offers a holistic approach in a county where the doctor-patient ratio is two times the national average. Osceola Council on Aging launched this initiative in October 2011 with a grant from Florida Hospital and we continue to offer our support this year. ($500,000)
· Mt. Sinai Seventh-day Adventist Church Community Outreach: The CHIC grants extend funding to this food cooperative which, through a centralized distribution center, brings fresh produce to communities. This co-op delivers 75,000 pounds of food per week to 14 other organizations. ($590,898)
· Community Health Centers: This program assists, monitors and ensures continuity of care across all service levels, to medically complex and high-risk patients who are living with chronic conditions. This program overcomes the barriers to care by serving the uninsured, underinsured, and underserved. ($106,940)
Aligning with a national trend, the community paramedicine program will ensure patients discharged from the hospital have a safe environment to return to, with the knowledge and tools to care for themselves, or with the help of a caregiver.
"The Florida Hospital CHIC grant will support a valuable service of connecting patients to health care in the community through a home-based community paramedicine model," said Donna J. Walsh, health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County. "Through care provided by qualified community paramedics, this model will reduce the number of emergency room visits and hospitalizations."
CHIC is a subcommittee of the Florida Hospital Board of Trustees that serves as the governing body for all of Florida Hospital's community benefit activities. CHIC approves, funds and measures initiatives that improve the overall health of Central Florida, address the needs of targeted populations and helps reduce preventable medical costs. Since its formation in 2004, CHIC has awarded more than $15 million to dozens of projects throughout Central Florida. Projects funded by the Council target chronic-disease management, wellness and prevention, basic needs or population health.