Health First Young Professional Group Puts Focus on Wellness, Offers ‘Philanthropy for Beginners’
By Space Coast Daily // April 4, 2023
Wellness starts with WE
Recruiting event at Funky Dog Improv April 6 was a coming out party for group that aims to raise community health standards while business networking.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – In improv, the rule is “yes, and” – never leave your cast mates without a little runway to take off. It’s a little like that at Health First, where the rallying cry is, “Wellness starts with WE.”
The Health First Foundation, in coordination with key business leaders in Brevard County, recently formed a Young Professional Group to support future philanthropists on the Space Coast. Its first recruiting event is scheduled for April 6 at Funky Dog Improv, 587 Eau Gallie Blvd, Ste 100, in Melbourne.
“If you’re not well, you’re not going to have a good quality of life. Particularly for young professionals,” says Rebecca Burgman.
A Senior Manager of Public Relations at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center by day, Burgman is a Health First Foundation board member and YPG founder by night.
“We’re having children, and we may be taking care of parents – making sure we’re well is the No. 1 thing.”
Health First is a not-for-profit health system and the subject of the next Melbourne Regional Chamber podcast, “411 on the 321,” where Health First Foundation President Michael Seeley explains, “that means that there are many things we do as a health system that are quite literally not profitable just to serve the community and serve it well,” and the Foundation is the office that overcomes this Catch-22.
The Foundation’s Board of Directors is comprised of well-connected and visionary volunteers who are representative of the Space Coast community – and the YPG will be similar.
“The fun thing about Health First is there’s something for everyone, whether it’s Aging Services, which we fully support through the Foundation, or Brightstar, for kids going through grief, we provide free services for families, and there are so many ways you can have an impact on your community,” Seeley says.
“As a young professional, sometimes you don’t know where to start getting involved, especially in this post-COVID world where you’re trying to return to normalcy,” says Burgman.
The benefits of the YPG are two-fold: “It benefits the Foundation, and it benefits young professionals by connecting the dots and showing them how your involvement is bringing vitality of our community.”
Foundation aid such as the Compassionate Care Fund and Guardian Angel grants directly offer first-rate care to people who cannot otherwise afford it.
Meanwhile, Wellness Grants disbursed through Health First are given directly to other area nonprofits such as WAYS for Life Brevard, the Boys and Girls Clubs and Who We Play For, among others.
Then, some Foundation support is invested in regional health training technology, such as Trauma HAL, a moving-breathing-beating training mannequin used in trauma simulations for area first responders such as Brevard Fire Rescue.
Next month, on May 19, YPG is hosting its first fundraising event – footgolf – at Duran Golf Club, 7032 Stadium Parkway in Viera. To learn more, go to HF.org/footgolf.
Health First is one of Brevard County’s largest employers. Its health system features the area’s only Level II Trauma Center and thrombectomy-capable Stroke Center, according to The Joint Commission, at Holmes Regional Medical Center. It operates three other community hospitals and dozens of medical specialties in doctor’s offices from Malabar to Titusville.
“Just finding the right group can be so rewarding. Hopefully, this new group will be a good fit for a lot of people,” says Burgman.
To learn more about the Health First Foundation Young Professional Group and RSVP for the Funky Dog Improv event, visit HF.org/ypg.