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Two Areas in Miami-Dade County Selected for Health Foundation of South Florida's Healthy Community Partnerships Initiative

With health affected by most factors outside clinical care, the Foundation is allocating up to $7.5 million over six years to bridge multiple sectors in each community to advance health

MIAMI, Dec. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With research indicating that how we live, where we live and other social and economic forces can have dramatic effects on health, new kinds of partnerships will play an increasingly important role in improving community health. Health Foundation of South Florida is targeting the improvement of community health indicators by allocating up to $7.5 million to support two Healthy Community Partnerships over a multi-year period. 

After an extensive evaluation process, Health Foundation of South Florida has announced that the City of Miami Gardens and Little Havana were selected for its Healthy Community Partnerships initiative.  This initiative is part of the Foundation's strategic and systemic effort to reduce poor health outcomes by engaging community residents to improve selected public health indicators.  A diverse coalition of residents, organizations and other groups representing eight communities in Miami-Dade County made a collaborative effort and applied for this opportunity to improve health for their residents.

According to Health Foundation of South Florida Board Chairman Richard Laviña, "We all have a stake in improving health, but no one can do it alone." He added, "We need collaboration to create a process for holistic and systemic change. This includes entities in business, education, government, community development, philanthropy and other sectors. We all have something important to bring to this work."

Health Foundation's Healthy Community Partnerships grant allocates up to $625,000 per year to the City of Miami Gardens for six years for grant making and program implementation.  "We recognize that there are many ways to improve community health," said Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert. He added, "As we move into action, we will create a solid plan that allows us to maximize resources through community engagement and grant making."

The community of Little Havana also receives up to $625,000 per year for a six year period for grant making and program implementation. "To transform our community into a healthier place for everyone, each of us will have to do his or her part," said ConnectFamilias President/CEO Betty Alonso. She added, "We encourage everyone to join us by taking steps as simple as increasing physical activity or by getting involved in Healthy Community Partnerships."

In a report that appears in the August 2013 issue of Health Affairs, a leading peer-reviewed journal of health policy thought and research, David Kindig, M.D., a University of Wisconsin population health expert, stated, "clinical care contributes only about 20 percent to overall health outcomes, while health behaviors contribute 30 percent, social and economic factors 40 percent and the physical environment 10 percent." This means that non-clinical care factors are responsible for an estimated 80 percent of health outcomes, and that improvements in clinical care can only be part of the answer to the need for improved community health.

Health Foundation of South Florida, a grant maker that has awarded more than $104 million to nonprofit organizations since 1993, recognizes that community-level approaches are key to creating effective, sustainable change in improving health. The Foundation's Healthy Community Partnerships initiative will help the City of Miami Gardens and Little Havana to provide increased opportunities for optimal health for all who are part of those communities.   For information on Health Foundation of South Florida's Healthy Community Partnerships, call the Foundation at 305.374.7200 or email to: sgantman@hfsf.org.

About Health Foundation of South Florida: Health Foundation of South Florida, a nonprofit grant making organization, is dedicated to improving health in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.  By advancing health solutions, the Foundation makes a measurable and sustainable impact in ensuring access to affordable, quality health services for all residents.  Since 1993, the Foundation awarded more than $104 million in grants and program support. For information, please call 305.374.7200 or visit  www.hfsf.org.

About City of Miami Gardens: The City of Miami Gardens celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2013, it was incorporated on May 13, 2003, and is the 33rd city in Miami-Dade County. With a population of approximately 110,000, it is the third largest city in Miami-Dade County. Miami Gardens is a solid, working and middle class community of unique diversity. It is the largest predominantly African-American municipality in Florida and boasts many Caribbean and Hispanic residents. The City hosted the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl, the 2010 NFL Pro Bowl™, Super Bowl XLIV™, 2013 Orange Bowl and 2013 BCS National Championship game. The City has demonstrated steady growth in the areas of community and economic development, and has gained a reputation for being a hot destination in South Florida. www.miamigardens-fl.gov            

About the Little Havana Community:  Little Havana has the highest concentration of Hispanics (98%). Within the Hispanic population,  the Cuban population has experienced a substantial decrease from 84% in 1979 to 58% in 1989; however, a group of Hispanics from other countries, especially the Nicaraguan population has substantially increased in the last 14 years.  Local commercial establishments, located along commercial strips, serve the neighborhood and the City. The lead agency for Healthy Community Partnerships in Little Havana is ConnectFamilias. Since the organization's inception in 2005, their work has been rooted in the belief that we all play a role in helping our community and the people who live there achieve their full potential. ConnectFamilias partnership builds on the community's strengths and celebrates the cultural richness which makes up the historic City of Miami Little Havana neighborhood.

SOURCE Health Foundation of South Florida

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