In 2016, Health First conducted its second federally-mandated Community Health Needs Assessment. Based on data collected, Health First identified have access to health-related services as well as overweight and obesity in children as disparities affecting the residents of Brevard County. Subsequently, implementation strategies were developed to help address these issues. Through collaboration with several local non-profit organizations, outreach programs have been initiated for the community we serve. The strategies for increasing access and education regarding health-related services include:
Adult Dental Clinic — Since 2011, Health First has partnered with the Florida Department of HealthBrevard County by offering an Adult Dental Clinic for uninsured patients presenting to the Emergency Department with a dental diagnosis and requiring follow-up treatment by a dentist. The Dental Clinic has treated thousands of patients since the program began.
AHEC Tobacco Cessation Classes — In 2013, Health First partnered with the Central Florida Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in conjunction with Tobacco Free Florida. Health First collaborates with AHEC in hosting free "Quit Smoking Now" and "Tools to Quit" smoking cessation programs at Health First facilities an ongoing basis. For each five-week session, Health First distributes flyers to more than 30 physician offices and community organizations to help promote the classes and encourage the public to stop using tobacco.
Brevard Family Partnership and South Brevard Sharing Center — Every December, Health First partners with the South Brevard Sharing Center and the Brevard Family Partnership by purchasing holiday gifts for underserved children in Brevard County. Wish lists are supplied by the organizations with Health First associates getting into the holiday spirit by shopping for toys and clothing and helping to brighten the children’s holidays.
Brevard Health Alliance — The Brevard Health Alliance (BHA), the county's only Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), began as the HOPE Clinic (Health, Outreach, Prevention & Education) in 1995. Currently, BHA operates seven fixed clinics and two mobile units in Brevard County, providing care for underserved patients with a complete range of services including primary care, pediatrics, behavioral services, case management, dental services as well as a pharmaceutical assistance program. Since 2005, when the HOPE Clinic evolved into BHA, Health First has remained a loyal supporter with an annual donation of a $1.1 million grant as well as in-kind diagnostic services.
Brevard Health Alliance’s Patient Navigator Referral Program — In 2013, the Brevard Health Alliance (BHA) Patient Navigator Referral Program was launched in cooperation with the Health First Case Management Department. Patients who are treated in the hospital and do not have a primary care provider for follow-up are contacted upon discharge by the patient navigator to schedule an appointment at BHA. This program provides these patients an opportunity to establish themselves with a medical home, essential for prevention and wellness.
Brevard Heart Foundation — Health First supports the Brevard Heart Foundation which provides scholarships to certified nursing assistants (CNA), nurses (RN/BSN/ARNP/DNP) and medical doctors. Selections for scholarship awards are made in June, announced in July and presented in August each year. The Brevard Heart Foundation awards provide an investment in students’ education with the knowledge of the impact they will have as healthcare providers.
Career Source Brevard — In 2016, Health First partnered with Career Source Brevard with the creation of . the Healthcare Workforce Ambassador (HWA), a dedicated support position managing workforce sector strategy activities related to the healthcare industry. The HWA consults with businesses 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 as the healthcare industry continues to grow.
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 with support from Health First. 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.
Free CPR Training Day — On Saturday, May 6, 2017, Health First held its 9th Annual Free CPR Day in the Viera Hospital Courtyard. The event was held in conjunction with the Get Active Brevard 5K Run/Walk and also featured Health First’s Stop the Bleed emergency first aid. "Friends & Family" CPR, AED and Stop the Bleed training were all provided by the Health First Training Center.
Fight Child Hunger 5K — Health First partnered with the Children’s Hunger Project and Central Brevard Sharing Center in sponsoring the first “Fight Child Hunger 5K” in January 2017. This year’s event funded 20 weeks out of the 38 weeks in the school year, impacting 100 children and their families each week. The proceeds from this event will allow this program to expand further in 2017-2018 school year.
Stop the Bleed — The Health First Training Center was one of the first in the country to train local first responders in this life-saving program. The goal of this nationwide campaign is to empower individuals to act quickly and save lives by using life-saving interventions. Training sessions are held on a regular basis and participants learn basic bleeding-control techniques using tourniquets and pressure.
Who We Play For — 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 public and private middle schools and high schools. It is estimated that 3% of students screened, will be flagged for follow-up and/or need further review.
To address the disparity of overweight and obese children in Brevard County, Health First is partnering with the following organizations in the community:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida — Health First and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida have partnered together in an effort to improve the health and well-being of Club members and their families in the Mims, Cocoa and Melbourne branches. These efforts include "Family BeFit," a 6-week program that teaches families about healthy lifestyles created in partnership with the University of Florida Extension Service/IFAS. Each week consists of a lesson on nutrition, a fun activity or game and a healthy snack.
Health First’s Training Center has also provided CPR instruction for several Boys & Girls Clubs members. In addition, Health First collaborates with the Boys & Girls Clubs in sponsoring free family health fairs for their members and the community.
City of Melbourne Parks & Recreation — Health First has teamed up with Melbourne’s Leisure Services to support activities such as their youth basketball league at Eau Gallie Civic Center, play dates at the newly renovated Riverview Park, annual Track & Field event for student athletes and also to engage children in the “Family BeFit” healthy lifestyles program who attend their summer camps.
"Family BeFit" Program — This free 6-week "Family BeFit" program partners with the University of Florida Extension Service/IFAS in teaching children and parents about healthy lifestyles. Each week includes a lesson is given on nutrition along with a physical activity or game and a healthy snack is prepared for taste- testing by the families. Health First has presented the “Family BeFit” program to several community organizations and after-school programs in Brevard County.
Hope for North Brevard — Health First is partnering with Hope for North Brevard, an organization dedicated to helping underserved youth in North Brevard. By supporting their summer camp, participants will learn about healthy lifestyles through Health First’s “Family BeFit” program as well as receive reinforcement of character development from positive role models.
Junior League of South Brevard — Health First has a longstanding partnership with the Junior League of South Brevard in support of Kids in the Kitchen and the Fueling Kids programs. Kids in the Kitchen is a family-friendly event showcasing how kids and their families can eat smart and make healthy lifestyle choices. The Fueling Kids program takes place 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 a food pantry and basic necessities for children and families in need.
Mayors’ Fitness Challenge — Health First sponsored the inaugural 2017 Mayors’ Fitness Challenge in which teams from municipalities across the Space Coast committed to exercising and adopting a healthier lifestyle. The 13-week Challenge kicked off in February 2017 and in May 2017, the City of Cape Canaveral was announced as this year’s winning team. A contest for the individual, over 18, who lost the largest percentage of his or her body weight was awarded a $500 cash prize.
My Community Cares — Health First supports My Community Cares and their Special Place for Teens (SPOT) program. SPOT provides services such as reading, mentoring, nutrition education and fitness activities and operates a summer camp program for underprivileged youth between the ages 12-15. The objective is to cultivate an environment that will not only improve academia but will combat obesity and become the basis of a conceptual framework for student’s success inside and outside of school.
Space Coast Crew — Health First partners with Space Coast Crew, a competitive rowing program that embodies sportsmanship and ethics through the principles of respect and responsibility. By combining vigorous physical activity, the organization also encourages personal growth through winning and losing with dignity and self-control.
Space Coast Youth Multi-sports — Health First’s partnership with Space Coast Youth Multi-sports dates back to 2014. This organization’s Junior Ocean Rescue program is the only recreational and competitive program of its kind in Brevard County. Children, ages 7-18, are educated on ocean safety, ocean rescue and lifeguard operations, CPR and first aid, eco-awareness, safe surfing and swimming, personal fitness, life skills and yoga.