Florida Blue President and CEO Pat Geraghty helped kick off the Florida Blue Florida Classic weekend by sharing that the Florida Blue Foundation awarded nearly $3.5 million in grants to nine nonprofits across the state to enhance health equity by strengthening diversity and inclusion within their organizations.
The three- to four-year grants will provide the nonprofits with the ability to incorporate, operationalize, and execute ongoing health equity, diversity, and inclusion programs.
“People’s racial, sexual, gender, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds and other factors impact the quality of health care they have access to and their health outcomes. Our mission of helping people and communities achieve better health requires us to understand the impact of those social determinants and to work across the health ecosystem to support all Floridians. We believe it is a foundational step in the long journey to achieving health equity,” said Geraghty.
The programs will be designed to better equip the organizations to understand and meet the unique needs of the diverse populations and communities they serve.
“All of us at Florida Blue are proud to have our Foundation support nonprofit organizations in their quest to eliminate health disparities and help Floridians reach their optimal health regardless of their social position or other social circumstances,” noted Geraghty.
During the Florida Classic Kickoff Luncheon presented by Florida Blue on Friday, Geraghty recognized Orlando’s Health Care Center for the Homeless as one of the grant recipients. Led by Dr. Bakari Burns, a Florida A&M alumnus, the grant will be used to educate and guide the organization’s leadership, staff, board, and volunteers to assess their organizational culture and behaviors and evolve them to provide a more inclusive environment while developing an atmosphere of cultural humility for their work providing care to Orlando’s homeless community.
In addition to the Health Care Center for the Homeless, the recipients of the health equity, diversity and inclusion grants include:
- Hope CommUnity Center, Apopka
- The Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, Jacksonville
- United Way Emerald Coast, Fort Walton Beach
- YMCA of Florida’s First Coast, Jacksonville
- Foster Care Review, Miami
- Legal Services of Greater Miami
- Advocate Program, Miami
- Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay
Geraghty also conducted a roundtable discussion on health equity with several business, community, and civic leaders on Friday morning. The conversation centered on opportunities for collaboration and overcoming obstacles to achieving health equity.
The Florida Blue Florida Classic is a college football rivalry game between two of the state’s historic HBCUs – Bethune-Cookman University and Florida A&M University. This year marks the 76th overall meeting between the schools. Revenue from the Florida Blue Florida Classic game and its ancillary events are invested in scholarships and other academic opportunities at both participating universities.