Health First New Initiatives Encourage, Accommodate Community Health Needs
By Space Coast Daily // December 28, 2016
Board of Trustees has approved three-year plan
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Health First announced its Board of Trustees has approved a three-year plan to help meet the healthcare needs of our community.
As a result of the recently completed Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), Health First leadership has recommended that adults without access to healthcare services, and overweight or obese or having poor nutrition and/or lack of physical activity, disparities be addressed.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires all not-for-profit hospitals to conduct a CHNA once every three years.
The CHNA is a systematic process that identifies and analyzes community health needs for prioritization, planning and action upon unmet needs. Efforts must be measured and tracked to ensure improvements are being made in areas identified.
“Health First is maximizing its resources by addressing the top two priorities we feel will make the greatest impact over the next three years,” said Drew Rector, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer.
“The implementation strategies to address the disparities identified in the Community Health Needs Assessment will focus on helping people access and engage in health and wellness opportunities. Health First will continue to collaborate with our community partners to fulfill our mission of creating a healthier Brevard County.”
ABOVE VIDEO: The Children’s Hunger Project is among the partners with Health First’s efforts to meet the community’s healthcare needs, and is a Central Florida Humanitarian Award winner.
Health First has established partnerships with the following local groups to help address the disparities:
• Family Be Fit Program – In partnership with the UF/IFAS Extension Service-Brevard County, Health First offers after-school programs and summer camps teaching underserved children and families how to exercise together and prepare healthy snacks and meals.
• Children’s Hunger Project – Health First is the presenting sponsor of the Fight Child Hunger Run Walk Wheels 5K to help create awareness of childhood hunger and malnutrition in Brevard County. All proceeds from this event will be used to purchase food for the weekend backpack project.
• Mayors’ Fitness Challenge – In conjunction with the Florida Department of Health-Brevard County and United Way of Brevard, Health First is enlisting participation from local mayors to compete against other cities and form teams to encourage residents to become more active and engage in physical activities.
• Who We Play For – Health First is the exclusive healthcare sponsor of “Who We Play For,” Brevard County’s student athlete cardiac screening program. Last year, nine local students had an abnormal EKG reading and two were identified as high-risk for a potential cardiac issue and flagged for follow-up by a cardiologist.
• Smile Angel Foundation – Health First supports the Smile Angel Foundation, which helps people gain access to free dental care, especially those who cannot afford to visit a dentist. This includes homeless military veterans, underserved children and others in Brevard County. The Smile Angel Foundation also supplies dental care packages to disadvantaged students in the area.
Health First’s total value to the community in fiscal year 2015 totaled more than $129 million, including more than $75 million in mission-driven community benefits.
Founded in 1995, Health First is Brevard County’s not-for-profit, community healthcare system.
The fully integrated delivery network (IDN) includes health insurance plans, hospitals, a multi-specialty medical group and outpatient and wellness services.
As a locally owned, not-for-profit organization, Health First is committed to investing in our community. In 2015, Health First provided more than $129 million in community support.
To learn more about Health First and how we’re giving back to our community, please visit HFgivesback.org