Healthy Central Florida Celebrates

Nearly 50 volunteers, staff and friends of Healthy Central Florida (HCF) came together on January 24 to celebrate the achievements of the Healthy Community Teams over the last two years. A “highlight reel video” captured the key events and milestones since Healthy Central Florida debuted with a visit from Dr. Oz on February 6, 2012.

The collective impact and success of HCF is due, in large measure, to the 40 volunteer leaders who serve on the HCF Teams. Collectively they have donated more than 3,100 hours of service–working on health initiatives, advocating for policy change or supporting projects like the Mayors’ Sole Challenge, the annual Walk and Bike to School Workshop, and serving as judges for HCF’s mini-grant process.

“What these dedicated individuals have done to improve the health of our communities is truly remarkable,” said Jill Hamilton Buss, executive director of HCF. “It is with their vision and commitment that we’re changing the conversation – and the trajectory of health outcomes in our target communities.”

Here is a list of the top 10 highlights of HCF and its partners’ efforts to date as presented at the anniversary celebration:

1. Had Dr. Mehmet Oz participate in and endorse HCF at the kick-off event!

2. Passed Smoke Free Parks Resolutions in all three communities.

3. Passed Complete Streets Resolutions in Winter Park and Maitland.

4. Contracted with UCF to conduct research which uncovered health disparities and resulted in health initiatives in target communities focusing on walkability, connectivity and health.

5. Inspired more children to walk/bike to school. From baseline study in early 2013, there was an increase of 57% on International Walk to School Day when more than 2,100 children walked and biked to school.

6. Nearly 50 businesses have instituted health-promoting policies/environmental



7. Instituted healthy food policy at City of Winter Park; an edible landscaping initiative is planned for Eatonville and a healthy food access grant is planned for spring 2014.

8. Started/supported walking groups in all communities and instituted marked walking paths in collaboration with cities – following Eatonville Mayor Bruce Mount’s model and lead.

9. More than $50,000 in grants distributed and more than 150 people from 60 organizations have received training in policy/environmental change/evidence-based practices to create long-term sustainable change.

10. More than $1 million raised for the Healthy Eatonville Place (HEP), a center in Eatonville to address diabetes and health disparities in Eatonville. The HEP opens in early 2014 through the generous support of Florida Hospital and the Winter Park Health Foundation. The Florida Hospital Diabetes Center/TRI is serving as the project coordinator.

Click here for more information on HCF.