Health First Roots of Giving Goes Back To 1937
By Maria Sonnenberg // November 5, 2013
2013 central florida humanitarians
ABOVE VIDEO: “The work of the Health First Foundation touches nearly every area of health and wellness services at Health First and helps ensure excellent care is available when our community is at risk,” said Nancy Taylor, chairman of the Health First Foundation.
On May 30, 1995, Nancy Taylor, broker and owner of Prudential Sterling Properties, was driving on Lake Washington Road in Melbourne when a drunk driver hit her car at 90 miles per hour.
It took paramedics an hour and a half to extricate Taylor from the wreckage of her vehicle. When her ambulance arrived at Holmes Regional Medical Center, she had to wait four hours for a surgical room because there was no trauma unit at the hospital at that time.
After recovering, she vowed to help the hospital raise funds for a trauma center and has since been involved in some way with helping Health First continue to raise the bar in healthcare. In 1999, she volunteered to chair the hospital’s annual benefit ball to help raise funds for the Trauma Center.
“My recovery from that accident was due to the tremendous support my family, friends, physicians, nurses, technicians and many others poured on me,” said Taylor. “They gave me the support and courage to make a difference for future trauma victims.”
GUIDES CHARITABLE OUT REACH
Taylor was elected chairman of the Health First Foundation in January of 2012.
Since then, the Foundation has raised more than $4 million for vital health needs and services that include optical coherence tomography and intravascular ultrasound equipment to aid in heart disease diagnosis and treatment of cardiac and vascular abnormalities, as well as telemedicine equipment to connect the Trauma Center with the emergency rooms at Palm Bay, Viera and Cape Canaveral Hospitals.
Additionally, under Taylor’s leadership, the Health First Foundation has generated funds to provide patient care at the William Childs Hospice House and support services for families and caregivers of the elderly through the Health First Aging Services’ Center for Family Caregivers.
Other funds were raised to support patient care and improvement of facilities at Health First’s four hospitals. To help nurses improve their skills and training, the Foundation raised more than half a million dollars for nursing education.
LONG TRADITION OF GIVING
Health First Foundation traces its roots to a tradition of community support and philanthropy that dates back to 1937, when the healthcare system’s flagship hospital, Holmes Regional Medical Center, opened on land donated by local leaders.
In 1995, Holmes and the affiliated Palm Bay Hospital joined with Cape Canaveral Hospital to form Health First. In 2004, Health First Foundation incorporated the fundraising volunteer boards of Holmes Medical Center and Cape Canaveral Hospital.
Health First Foundation guides the charitable outreach of the healthcare system, which now includes four not-for-profit hospitals, a hospice and palliative care program, a physician group and a comprehensive network of outpatient health and wellness services.
AREA’S LARGEST PROVIDER OF CHARITABLE HEALTH CARE
As a not-for-profit organization, Health First is a community-owned health care system with hospitals that care for everyone who needs services, regardless of their ability to pay.
Health First is the largest provider of charitable health care in Brevard County with uncompensated care regularly exceeding $37 million.
In fact, Health First is the largest provider of charitable health care in Brevard County with uncompensated care regularly exceeding $37 million. Health First Foundation enables the healthcare system to provide these services, while at the same time allowing the system to remain state-of-the-art in technology and services.
“Philanthropy helps fill the funding gap, taking us from good to great,” said Jane McCallum, director of corporate and annual giving for the Health First Foundation.
HEALTH FIRST BALL, GOLF CLASSIC AND GRAPE ESCAPE
More than 100 volunteers are involved with the Health First Foundation Benefit Ball, the oldest continuously running special fundraising event in Brevard, and the Grape Escape, an event that pairs fine wines with gourmet dining at destinations such as Palm Beach, Vero Beach and Orlando.
Brevard’s best known business and community leaders plan and organize the Grape Escape, which typically raises $300,000 to fund new equipment and programs at the Health First Heart Center.
The Health First Golf Classic hosts more than 200 community supporters to raise funds for different Health First programs.
The Foundation also benefits from the gifts through wills and memorials and the donations of Health First employees through a payroll giving effort called EAGLES, Every Associate’s Gift Leaves Everlasting Spirit.
Over the past five years, gifts to the Foundation average $2.5 million annually from 4,000 benefactors.
“The work of the Health First Foundation touches nearly every area of health and wellness services at Health First and helps ensure excellent care is available when our community is at risk,” said Taylor.
CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE HEALTH FIRST FOUNDATION
ABOUT THE 2013 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN AWARDS
The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards were created to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that dedicate their Time, Talent or Treasure to help people in need locally – and around the world.
This year, more than 30 deserving humanitarians will be honored during the Gala, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 7 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, with the festivities beginning at 6 p.m.
“Over the years, our editorial team has had the distinct honor and pleasure of identifying and featuring the many members of our community who give back so much and are dedicated to reaching out and helping others, here and throughout the world, in a multitude of ways,” said Maverick Multimedia Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo.
“We remain firmly committed to identifying and telling those stories and providing a timely media platform to recognize Space Coast and Central Florida residents’ altruistic contributions on a regular basis in our magazines, as well as SpaceCoastDaily.com,” said Dr. Palermo.
This inspiring and compelling event is sponsored by Brighthouse Networks, Health First, Brevard Physicians Network, Florida Pain, Forever Florida, MPAC ACO, Brevard Geriatrics, Community Credit Union, Clear Choice Health Care, Knudson Brain & Spine Law Injury Office, First Choice Medical Group, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine, CentralFloridaMedicine.com and SpaceCoastDaily.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION or to make a reservation to attend the Central Florida Humanitarian Awards Gala call 321-615-8111 or e-mail SpaceCoastMedicine@gmail.com.