Access to health care, healthy food and other essentials for healthy living are more important than ever during the coronavirus pandemic.
And yet, too many Broward residents face obstacles to healthier living, due to poverty, discrimination and other systemic hurdles that make life expectancy in Broward differ, zip code to zip code.
Our latest “Food for Thought” virtual gathering provided an inside look at ways we can tackle Broward’s health equity dilemma.
A Food for Thought is an exclusive opportunity for our Fundholders, Legacy Society members and professional advisors to learn more about Broward’s big issues, and to see the bold impact of local philanthropy. To stay safe during the pandemic, we now hold our Food for Thought gatherings through online video conferences.
The most recent online Food for Thought experience showcased the ways that the Community Foundation and our Fundholders can help overcome health inequities in Broward. For low-income residents, healthy living often takes a backseat to facing economic challenges. Minority communities face some of the biggest health equity challenges, said Dr. Steven Marcus, President and CEO of the Health Foundation of South Florida – the featured presenter at the Food for Thought.
He was one of the local health experts who shared insights about overcoming health equity challenges, with strategies such as:
- Health care providers opening clinics or deploying mobile units to underserved communities.
- Programs that provide in-home visits to assess the health needs of isolated elderly residents in underserved communities.
- Transportation to get people to places to see a doctor and buy healthy food.
- Promote more diversity in the leadership ranks of public agencies, businesses and nonprofits that provide health services.
“Diversity, equity and inclusiveness,” Marcus said. “These three words mean that we are going to make sure that we reduce disparities in how we provide these (health) services.”
During breakout sessions, the Food for Thought participants heard from front-line experts and got to ask questions about hurdles to getting health care, disparities in healthy food access as well as environmental barriers to healthier living.
In addition, the Community Foundation announced a new phase of BFit – philanthropy through the Community Foundation that empowers residents to access health care, health food and opportunities for physical activity.
This new phase will target South Broward food deserts and service deserts – neighborhoods where there aren’t nearby grocery stores, doctors’ offices and other features critical to healthier living. Through new collaborations, we will create the South Broward County Health Hub and bring resources and outreach that makes healthy living opportunities more readily available.
“Everyone should have an equal opportunity to live the healthiest life possible,” Community Foundation Vice President Kirk Englehardt said. “The goal is to empower people to take control of their health.”
Support for BFit is just one of the ways that philanthropists with charitable Funds at the Community Foundation tackle Broward’s Issues That Matter – 10 big challenges that affect us all and are vital to Broward’s future.
Thanks to support from our Fundholders and the power of endowment, the Community Foundation will be there to fuel solutions to Broward’s biggest challenges, during this crisis and beyond.
To learn how you can support BFit and other Issues That Matter with a charitable Fund at the Community Foundation, contact Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-761-9503.