Tell us a little about your organization.
About Simply Healthcare: https://www.simplyhealthcareplans.com/florida-home/simply.html
Simply Healthcare strives to improve the health of humanity by addressing health inequalities and strengthening our communities across Florida. We seek to improve health and advance equity by strengthening communities, especially during challenging times, and through strategic initiatives, we support community resiliency. Our strategy underscores this commitment by focusing on strategic partnerships and programs that aid the health of the socially vulnerable.
Our Approach to Health
Improving health for everyone is possible. It begins by redefining health, reimagining the system, and strengthening our communities.
The physical aspects of health have traditionally been the focus and the priority for healthcare. However, unique life circumstances and experiences impact every individual and their health. Taking a step back and looking more broadly at what drives health, it’s clear that health should be redefined to include the social and behavioral factors with the physical.
To support health more holistically, we also need to reimagine the health system. This starts with harnessing data, which gives a more complete picture of each individual and their health needs; this can help make healthcare more personalized and equitable.
Strengthening communities has a positive effect on health. Building partnerships and creating connections within communities supports whole health.
Simply Healthcare champions this whole health approach, and we are committed to these changes with a focus in core areas, including whole health and what drives it, community health, health equity, digitally enabled healthcare and consumer-centered health systems.
Please also visit https://www.simplyhealthcareplans.com/mcr/simply-healthcare-fl to see a demonstration of our work.
What made your organization join the Florida Prosperity Project’s Advisory Board?
At Simply Healthcare, improving the health of Floridians is the purpose driving all our work. Yet we realize that achieving this will take immense collaboration. We know the invaluable importance of the role that our community partners play inside and outside of the healthcare system, and in no uncertain terms, we recognize that achieving our purpose will take the closest of collaborations between us.
We understand that it takes all of us working together to create stronger, healthier communities. When healthcare organizations and community advocates, like the Florida Prosperity Project come together around the common goal of caring for the well-being of people, they can build trust, expand reach and enhance access to resources to effectively create a healthier environment for everyone.
We value our partnership with the Florida Prosperity Project and look forward to working together closely to make a meaningful, positive difference in the lives of Floridians across our state.
What root cause(s) of poverty are of particular interest to your organization as they apply to ending the cycle of generational poverty in Florida?
Simply Healthcare is focused on driving whole health, and we know that whole health involves physical, mental and social drivers of health. Poverty is a social driver of health, so we understand that in order to be successful in improving whole health outcomes, we have to address disparities that contribute to poverty and generational poverty. This means that we must continually innovate solutions that enhance equity.
We know what partnering at the community level allows us to consider, identify, and address the most significant health drivers and disparities. Once identified, we can remove barriers and offer support that can help Floridians improve their health and lives. Some of the insight that we have accumulated through this approach includes the following:
- 80% of health is driven by what happens outside the doctor’s office.
- Physical and behavioral health are deeply linked: 68% of adults with mental health conditions also have medical conditions
- 1 in 4 Americans worries about losing their housing, and housing instability is associated with poorer health outcomes
- 45% of adult deaths due to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes are associated with eating too much or too little of certain foods.
Through our emersion in local communities across Florida, we recognize that to address generational poverty, we must address related challenges, including food insecurity, educational disparities, employment barriers, etc. By digging deeper, we have found that in order to meaningfully address generational poverty, we have to tackle contributing factors, including increasing access to workforce development programs to help Floridians enhance opportunities to secure well-paying jobs; increase high school graduation rates by starting at the beginning to ensure access to quality early childhood education; and help Floridians break through barriers by increasing access to affordable housing, transportation, childcare, mental health services, and healthy, nutritious food.
Tell us about some of the current projects your organization has in the works to improve local and/or statewide prosperity outcomes.
We value and nurture our local ties. They are a key component of our whole health approach, and they drive us to work closely with community organizations to create support networks. Using our extensive data, we also identify the resources needed to support local residents, including the people we serve, to ensure those resources can better meet local needs.
- We have launched and engaged in many projects over the past several years to improve local and/or statewide prosperity outcomes. Examples include:
- Partnering with and providing funding to various partners such as:
- Workforce development and work readiness programs through partners such as Better Health/Better Pay; MissionCare Collective; B.E.S.T Academy; Indian River Healthy Start to provide scholarships for doulas; Miami Dade College for scholarships for nurses; Gulf Coast State College to create scholarships for students who agree to serve FL’s rural areas after graduation; Junior Achievement to develop work readiness skills for high schoolers; and so much more.
- We create opportunities for Floridians to access Financial Literacy education. An example of our efforts includes working with Grants to Branches Inc. to offer financial literacy sessions to the public at our Simply Healthcare Community Resource Center in Hialeah.
- We create opportunities to promote education and literacy among youth. Examples include our work with and program funding for the Florida Education Foundation for their summer literacy program, and for Reach Out and Read.
- We support and heavily invest in opportunities to help vulnerable Floridians achieve housing security. Our partnership with Camillus House is just one example.
- Offering behavioral health services to address underlying needs that impact overall health through our affiliate, Carelon.
Supporting Food as Medicine and investing heavily to address food insecurity. Our efforts have been amplified through partnerships with and support of aligned collaborators, such as Feeding Florida, Feeding Tampa Bay, Feeding the Gulf Coast, Feeding South Florida, and the Poverello Center (which provides nutritious food for those with chronic diseases): Read more here.
Why is it important for Florida leaders to join the fight against childhood poverty and securing the path to prosperity for ALL Floridians?
We know strong communities don’t just happen. They’re the product of partnership and commitment to health and equality for all, and we all have to play our part. As Florida leaders, our organizations’ local presence in each community is an integral part of our identity and focus. Taking responsibility as a corporate citizen to address childhood poverty is more than the right thing to do. It’s the best way to succeed and deliver on the diverse needs of all those we serve. Through relationships and in collaboration, we can promote diversity and inclusion, champion sustainability and improve equity across our communities. We know we serve our communities better when there’s a connection between our culture and the changing world around us. And we believe life is better for everyone when everyone contributes to making things better. Simply Healthcare is proud to play a leading role in bringing that about, and welcomes fellow leaders to join us in this mission.
Is there anything else you would like to add regarding the importance of supporting the Florida Prosperity Project mission?
Poverty is arguably the single largest determinant of health. It has a direct impact on access to stable housing, education, transportation, vital services and overall health. Poverty threatens not only those who live with its relentless hardships, but it also poses a real threat to Florida’s stability, social fabric, and economic future. Children who grow up in poverty are more likely to drop out of high school, are more likely to engage in risky behaviors that can lead to juvenile detention and ultimately incarceration, and are more likely to continue the cycle. If this cycle is not broken, Florida risks a perpetuation of poverty and inequality. By aligning with the Florida Prosperity Project, we can have a greater impact together to break the cycle of deprivation and create a better, stronger, more sustainable future.
Click here to learn about the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Prosperity Project that is uniting Florida businesses for good around the Florida 2030 Blueprint goal of cutting Florida childhood poverty in half by 2030 and ensuring 100% have a pathway out.