Health First’s community investment again exceeds $180 million in 2021

Charity, grants and partnerships exemplify the motto “Wellness starts with US”.

ABOUT THE MOMENT CHYNA, center, and her family were closing a new home, she received a devastating diagnosis. Through Family Promise of Brevard’s ongoing partnership with Health First, she got the health care she needed at the most efficient time. (picture Health First)

BREVARD COUNTY, FL – Health First has released its 2021 Community Benefits Report, and once again, investments in Brevard County and surrounding areas exceeded $180 million. More than $54 million went to charitable care, most of it — $42 million — for Medicare shortfalls.

Health First aligns charitable dollars and resources with priorities identified by a community health needs assessment it conducts every three years. Brevard Public Schools has become a close partner. In addition to funding and medical supplies for its in-school clinics, Health First has been an enthusiastic benefactor of the district’s Thrive By Five preschool literacy effort.

CLICK HERE to see Health First’s 2021 Community Benefits Report.

A costly sacrifice made by Brevard residents near or below the poverty line is access to health services. Many Americans are one paycheck away from not being able to meet their mortgages and rents, and health care is exactly the kind of surprise expense that puts families at risk.

It’s also the kind of trip that’s easier if it starts early.

That’s why Health First has partnered with Family Promise of Brevard, Inc., which helps and assists families facing homelessness. Its Health Navigator program is an entry into low-cost or no-cost care for those who are uninsured or undiagnosed. Children receive necessary vaccines and are assessed for developmental milestones. Almost all families have a provider and about 4 out of 5 are insured.

LEADERS AT HEALTH FIRST eagerly entered the Brevard Public Schools Thrive By Five program last year. The effort emphasizes the importance of literacy from birth, with guidance for parents and resources (including free books). Most babies in Brevard County arrive at a Health First hospital — Holmes Regional Medical Center or Cape Canaveral Hospital — and the health systems dedication to those lives extends far beyond its hospital campuses. (picture Health First)

Vital care

Around the time Chyna, a Cocoa mom, was about to close on a new home — a huge win for her and her family — she received a devastating diagnosis and began chemotherapy treatment. Because of the ongoing partnership between Health First and Family Promise, she received care much sooner than she otherwise would have.

“If she hadn’t been on our programs, she would never have gone to the doctor for regular checkups to even know something was wrong in the first place and certainly wouldn’t have had the health insurance to cover her current medical expenses,” said Tara Pagliarini, Executive Director, Brevard Family Promise.

Away from heartbreak, Chyna saw how blessed she was to have received healthcare navigation as part of Family Promise’s case management – ”You saved my life,” he said. she declared to Pagliarini.

She now lives in her own home, works and continues to raise her family.

“Our partnership with Health First has helped us bridge the healthcare gap for families in crisis,” Pagliarini said.

JOHN ADAMS’ STREETSIDE SHOWERS is a mobile charity with stops in Palm Bay and Cocoa providing anyone who rides a hot shower, hygiene and food. Thanks in part to the support of Health First, the company was able to double its volume in 2021. (Image Health First)

A COMMUNITY PARTNER

Other partnerships receiving substantial support from Health First in 2021 include:

Florida Department of Health dental clinics ensure that uninsured patients receive the care they need. Anyone who goes to a hospital emergency department with a dental problem is referred to an affiliated dentist for care. Patients are then seen at the Brevard Health Alliance dental clinic for follow-up treatment.

John Adams’ Streetside Showers, a hot shower, hygiene and food pop-up with stops in Palm Bay and Cocoa, was able to double in volume in 2021 thanks in part to support from Health First.

Brevard’s Complementary Cancer Care is free, non-medical healing of mind and body for current and former cancer patients and their caregivers who have been able to continue their services through the challenges of the pandemic with the support of Health First.

Brevard County is a great place to live and work in every way. US News & World Report ranked it among the top 20 places to live and #4 for retirement. Health First contributes to and benefits from this high standard of living, says President and CEO Steve Johnson.

A great place to be

Brevard County is a great place to live and work in every way. US News & World Report ranked it among the top 20 places to live and #4 for retirement. Health First contributes to and benefits from this high standard of living, says President and CEO Steve Johnson.

“Health First is a highly valued health care provider, but we’re also a nonprofit — we’re Brevard County’s largest nonprofit, nongovernmental employer,” Johnson said. “Our mission is to care for our community, and we’re so honored when we can do that as a partner with other local nonprofits to support programs that align with our wellness mission for Brevard. .”

In 2021, the company invested more than $520,000 in smaller, community-based nonprofits through partnership grants so that, collectively, the county can improve wellbeing and access to care — and keep pace with its growing reputation.

CLICK HERE to see Health First’s 2021 Community Benefits Report.

CLICK HERE to see Health First’s 2021 Community Benefits Report.

Jill E. Washington