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Health First Gives Back

Committed to improving the wellness and health of Brevard County

What is Community Benefit?

Health First is committed improving the wellness and health of our community.

Hospital community benefit programs are initiatives and activities undertaken by not-for-profit hospitals to improve health in the communities they serve. These benefits are provided in a multitude of ways and summarized in the IRS Form 990 Schedule H.

Today's community benefit programs involve a wide range of community partners to improve community health and increase access to services. Healthcare providers such as Health First are economic and social anchors providing healing, health and hope for our communities in addition to offering a safety net for Brevard County's most vulnerable citizens.

Organizations we Support

Brevard Health Alliance

The Brevard Health Alliance (BHA) is the county's only Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). BHA began as the HOPE Clinic (Health, Outreach, Prevention & Education) located at Health First's Holmes Regional Medical Center in 1995. Currently, BHA operates seven fixed clinics and two mobile units in Brevard, providing care for underserved patients with a complete range of services, including primary care, pediatrics, behavioral services, case management and dental services, as well as a pharmaceutical assistance program. Since 2005, when the HOPE Clinic evolved into BHA, Health First has continued as a loyal supporter with an annual grant of a $1.1 million, as well as the provision of in-kind diagnostic services.

In 2013, the Brevard Health Alliance (BHA) Patient Navigator Referral Program was launched in cooperation with the Health First Case Management Department. For patients without a primary care provider treated in the hospital, the patient navigator is contacted upon discharge to schedule an appointment at BHA for follow-up. The referral enables patients an opportunity to become established with a medical home, essential for prevention and wellness.

Supporters of the organization: Lisa Gurri, Austin Helton

United Way

Since 2019, Health First has partnered with the United Way to support Project Hunger, an organization that addresses childhood hunger during the summer months. Health First's support is used to purchase food packs, and fresh fruits and vegetables for kids to bring home and eat over the weekends. The program also provides free books, dental health education, and supplies, nutritional education, and fitness programs throughout Brevard County.

Additionally, Health First has sponsored the United Way's Mayor's Fitness Challenge since 2017. The eight-week challenge is represented by mayors from municipalities across Brevard, and residents form teams and commit to adopting a healthier lifestyle and increasing their physical activity.

Supporters of the organization: Debbie Goode, Laura Chiesman, Sue Hann, Johnette Gindling, Therrin Protze, Moses Harvin II, Louis D. Wilson, Rob Rains, Frank Abbate, Michael Ayers, Bart Gaetjens, Dr. Mark Mullins, Summitt Shah, Tony Taliancich, Lynda Weatherman

CareerSource Brevard

In 2016, Health First formed a partnership with Career Source Brevard in support of the Healthcare Workforce Ambassador (HWA), a dedicated support position managing workforce sector-strategy activities related to the healthcare industry. The HWA consults with health-related organizations to determine current and projected gaps in the workforce and assist with training opportunities and placement services. This collaborative effort will help ensure that workforce needs are sustainable in the future as the healthcare industry continues to grow.

Supporters of the organization: Dr. Mark Mullins, Lynn Brockwell-Carey, William Chivers, Amar Patel

Children's Hunger Project

Since 2017, Health First has partnered with the Children's Hunger Project and Central Brevard Sharing Center to sponsor the Fight Child Hunger 5K. The proceeds help fund weekend food packages for children and their families. In 2020, the event has almost doubled in participation, allowing this program to expand its outreach during the school year. Additionally, Health First associates volunteer annually to assemble food packages during Health First's Associate Month of Giving.

Supporters of the organization: Ben Malik, Kendall Moore, Maegen Anderson, Summit Shah

Central Brevard Sharing Center

Each year on Thanksgiving Day, hundreds of Thanksgiving meals are provided to underserved residents at the Central Brevard Sharing Center in Cocoa through Health First's support. In addition, students from area high schools volunteer their time to serve the meals to those in need and help make their holiday a special time. The Central Brevard Sharing Center is also a beneficiary of the annual Fight Child Hunger 5K.

Supporters of the organization: David Brubaker, Debbie Goode, Laura Chiesman, Sue Hann, Johnette Gindling, Therrin Protze, Moses Harvin II, Louis D. Wilson, Rob Rains, Frank Abbate, Michael Ayers, Bart Gaetjens, Dr. Mark Mullins, Summitt Shah, Tony Taliancich, Lynda Weatherman

Who We Play For

Since 2016, Health First has partnered with Who We Play For, an organization providing affordable cardiac screenings to student athletes to help identify those at risk of sudden cardiac arrest. Screenings are held at Brevard County's public and private middle schools and high schools. Statistics have revealed that approximately 2% of students screened will be flagged for follow-up and/or need further review for a life-threatening heart condition.

Supporters of the organization: Evan Ernst, Kurt Easton, Ralph Maccarone

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

Health First and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida have partnered together since 2013 in an effort to improve the health and well-being of club members and their families in the Cocoa and Melbourne branches. Health First's "Family BeFit" program, created in partnership with the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Service, is a six-week program that teaches families about healthy lifestyles. The program consists of a weekly lesson on nutrition, a fun activity or game and a healthy recipe prepared during each class. In addition, Health First collaborates with the Boys & Girls Clubs in hosting free family health fairs for their members, and Health First's Training Center has provided CPR instruction to Boys & Girls Clubs members.

Supporters of the organization: Steve Allender, Erin Harvey

Brevard Parks & Recreation

This past summer, Health First and the University of Florida IFAS Extension-Brevard County partnered together with Brevard County Parks and Recreation to host the inaugural "Summer Fit Challenge." As a friendly fitness competition between summer camps, the goal of the program was to help children and staff increase their exercise, and achieve several health benefits, including stronger muscles, increased cardio health and improved mood.

For eight weeks, participants tracked their physical activity using pedometers and recorded total step counts each day. Health First provided the pedometers to 2,899 summer campers at 15 Brevard County Parks and Recreation community centers and parks.

Health First also provided prizes for the summer camps, including a Fitbit for the highest achieving girl and boy with winning total step counts of 242,561 and 233,500, respectively. In addition, a water bottle and backpack were awarded to the highest achieving girl and boy at each summer camp location.

Supporters of the organization: Cathy Jarrell, Sean Anderson, Betty Wells, Dr. Brenda Fettrow

South Brevard Sharing Center

Last December, for the seventh year in a row, Health First partnered with the South Brevard Sharing Center to help fulfill wish lists for children who otherwise might not receive gifts for the holidays. Health First associates and volunteers from the South Brevard Sharing Center purchased gifts for more than 600 children in Brevard County - many of whom are homeless - as part of the Sharing Center's "Children Without Christmas Toy Drive."

In 2019, Health First supported the South Brevard Sharing Center's School Market Program. In collaboration with Stone Middle School in Melbourne, the Sharing Center provided free food and hygiene to the "Gopher Market." The on-campus, student-led market was created to defeat the stigma related with getting assistance.

In addition, in 2020, Health First donated toiletry items, such as body lotion, body wash, face cream, shampoo and conditioner, to the South Brevard Sharing Center valued at $9,500.

Supporters of the organization: Keri Donald, Tara Pariso

Brevard Public Schools

In 2016, Health First partnered with Brevard Public Schools to help fund the "P.E. is Powerful Education" program for 6,000 students in 10 secondary schools. This pilot program is a continuation of the curriculum established two years prior at the middle school level, also funded by Health First.

Supporters of the organization: Dr. Mark Mullins, Janice Kershaw, Mike LaFortune, Richard Miller, Erica Lemp

Junior League of South Brevard

Since 2017, Health First has partnered with the Junior League of South Brevard to support Kids in the Kitchen and the Fueling Kids programs. Kids in the Kitchen is two family-friendly events showcasing how kids and their families can eat smart and make healthy lifestyle choices. The Fueling Kids program takes place during the school year at two Title I elementary schools in South Brevard. The program includes after-school activities focused on wellness and a healthy snack, as well as stocking a food pantry and necessities for children and families in need.

Supporters of the organization: Pam Gatto, Dr. Angie McNeight

My Community Cares

Health First supports My Community Cares and its Special Place for Teens (SPOT) program for underprivileged youth between the ages 12-15. SPOT provides nutrition education and fitness activities as well as mentoring throughout the school year. The program also includes a summer camp program. The objective is to cultivate an environment that will not only combat obesity but also become the basis for students' success inside and outside of school.

My Community Cares also operates The REENTRY Center of Brevard (TRC), which is a program that assists returning citizens from incarceration with assistance for successful re-entry into our community.

Supporters of the organization: Pastor Jarvis Wash

Family Promise of Brevard

Health First has partnered with Family Promise of Brevard to support the expansion of the pilot Health Navigator program, which implemented health navigation services in the Family Promise of Brevard's shelter program. The expansion will increase impact by delivering health navigation in emergency shelters, housing stabilization and homeless prevention programs. The health navigator works alongside families experiencing housing instability to shift their healthcare focus from survival to preventative care by serving as their advocate and guiding them through the process.

Supporters of the organization: Tara Pagliarini

Brevard Zoo

In 2021, Health First began a partnership with the Brevard Zoo in support of the Family Nature Club (FNC) program. FNC is a free program that started in 2016, designed to break down barriers and bring all ages closer to nature, including those with sensory processing or mobility needs. The partnership will allow expansion of the inclusive nature program to families in Brevard County's underserved areas and provide consistent environmental exploration opportunities within their neighborhood parks, while removing barriers such as transportation. The program inspires to connect families and communities to nature through science and natural exploration, foster stewardship, and appreciate wildlife and wild places within their community.

Supporters of the organization: Keith Winsten, Leslie Becker, Veronica McKnight, Laura Wolf

Promise in Brevard

Health First has partnered with Promise in Brevard in support of the 2021 Health, Wellness and Fitness Challenge. The pandemic has created numerous challenges for Promise residents, particularly related to health, nutrition and fitness and this program aims to kick off a focus on health and wellness. Promise residents will have the opportunity to participate in on-campus weekly fitness classes and activities, attend nutrition and cooking classes to learn about healthy eating and meet with an onsite nutritionist to discuss their health metrics and set personal health and fitness goals.

Supporters of the organization: Jeff Kiel, Dr. James Ronaldson, Jessica Andre

The Women's Center Sexual Assault Victim Services Program

In June 2020, the Department of Health disbanded the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program. This program was crucial to providing evidence collection for victims of sexual assault in Brevard County. Health First has partnered with the Women's Center Sexual Assault Victim Services (SAVS) Program to support the continued service to the community by providing medical oversight for the SANE program.

Supporters of the organization: Stephanie Husted

Macedonia Community Development Corporation of South Brevard (METCA)

Health First has partnered with METCA to assist Brevard County's low to medium-income residents with obtaining scholarship funds for healthcare training in the listed career fields: HHA, CNA, LPN, and LPN transition to RN programs.

Supporters of the organization: Teri Jones, Paula Just, Jerry Phillips