Health First, Space Coast Health Foundation Combine To Serve Needy
By Space Coast Medicine & Active Living // November 29, 2012
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – After unanimous votes by both Boards of Directors, Health First and Space Coast Health Foundation (SCHF) have announced an agreement to settle the long-standing antitrust lawsuit and work together to enhance healthcare access and services in Brevard County.
Instead of spending time and money on court costs and legal fees, Health First and Space Coast Health Foundation (formerly Wuesthoff Health System), have put the anti-trust case behind them and entered into a confidential agreement that will create a new health program for Brevard County.
The program is in development and will enhance benefits for the underinsured in Brevard County.
“We are extremely pleased to have agreed on an arrangement that will end a series of legal actions and filings that has transpired over the past seven years,” said Jim Shaw, Board Chair of the Health First Board of Trustees.
“Both Health First and the Space Coast Health Foundation understand the tough economic challenges that are facing the communities that we serve and have agreed to work together, focusing our resources and efforts toward aggressively tackling the healthcare needs of the underinsured.”
Although the details of the agreement are not being disclosed, both Health First and the SCHF will dedicate resources to a new initiative to advance access and care for the underinsured of Brevard County.
Agreement Will Enhance Resources of Existing Health Agencies
This initiative will be overseen by representatives from both Health First and the SCHF, and will enhance the resources of existing health agencies that support and augment care for Brevard’s underinsured.
“We recognize that through collaboration, we can multiply the effects of our time and assets,” said Fran Pickett, Board Chair for the Space Coast Health Foundation. “We want every resident of Brevard to know they have access to health and wellness resources.”
“The ending of this long-standing dispute between Health First and the Space Coast Health Foundation should signal to Brevard County residents our commitment to the importance of focusing our combined efforts on the community’s health,” said Steve Johnson, President/Chief Executive Officer of Health First.
“By eliminating all of the distractions and costly legal fees associated with this type of litigation, we are able to use more resources to provide better care to the community.”
“Our missions are in unison,” said Johnette Gindling, Executive Director of the Space Coast Health Foundation.
“Through our organizations’ work, we both seek to enhance health and wellness in Brevard County for our residents. Working together strengthens our efforts.”
Putting Aside Differences To Help Those In Need
In a demonstration of collaboration, transparency, and trust, Health First has also invited two individuals who serve on the SCHF Board of Directors to join the Health First Board of Trustees. Fran Pickett and James Dwight will join the Health First Board of Trustees in January 2013.
“The key component of the agreement is that by working together, Health First and the Space Coast Health Foundation are addressing a critical issue facing many in our community,” said Johnson.
“More than 20 percent of the residents of Brevard County are without health insurance or considered underinsured. Through this agreement, we are pleased to put aside differences and help those in need.”