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Jacksonville, Fla. - July 12, 2022

Together, Orlando Health, United Way of Broward County, and Moffitt Cancer Center recently completed pilot sessions for a voluntary Health Equity Train-the-Trainer program to improve health equity across the state. The pilot sessions began in April and concluded in May. The partners will launch the first sessions later this summer. 

The three organizations are partnering with support from a combined $2.5 million health equity grant awarded by the Florida Blue Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of the state’s Blue Cross Blue Shield plan.

The train-the-trainer program is designed to educate health care professionals on health equity issues and useful strategies that help ensure families and community members have both the access and opportunity to attain their full health potential and are not disadvantaged due to environmental, economic, and/or social circumstance.

“We are delighted and moved by the engagement of participants in the pilot and their eagerness to take the next steps for change in their organization and communities,” said Quibulah Graham, MSPH, BSN, senior director, Diversity & Minority Business Development, Orlando Health. “The training was uniquely designed with impactful content, which includes extensive research, real-life case studies, and other learning strategies. This approach helps ensure participants build their awareness about health care disparities, along with ways to implement viable solutions to turn health disparities into health equity. We hope these components help prepare participants to reach a comfort level to teach others to help improve care, continuing the process and opportunities to ensure health equity in all our communities.” 

The voluntary training consists of live group and independent completion web-based modules to offer a deep dive into health equity. 

The opening session, Launch Day, was a live group module and consists of various topics, including an overview of health equity and a review of inequity data for Florida. After Launch Day, participants completed independent web-based modules that cover health disparities, bias and stereotyping, communication strategies, cross-cultural communication, equity in communication and implementing change for health equity. The last session, Landing Day, was also a live group session where participants debriefed about individual learning experiences and discussed ways participants could apply what they learned into their roles at work, and how to train others in their workplaces.

“Health disparities remain trenchant in part because the problem seems so large and complex people don’t know where to begin or if they individually can make a difference,” said Cathy Grant, vice president, chief diversity, equity & inclusion officer with Enterprise Equity at Moffitt Cancer Center. “This first-of-its-kind training aims to empower health providers with the knowledge, skill and abilities to not only care for populations from a variety of social identities but also to engage in systems change. Everyone can be part of the shift needed to close of the gap of differential health outcomes.” 

The train-the-trainer program strategy is to recruit health care providers working in health care facilities and health-related organizations throughout the state who will then take the information back to share with others in their organizations and throughout their communities. Training participants will include anyone working in health care with direct interactions with patients or clients. 

“We believe that health equity is a basic human right, and an attainable one,” said Kathleen Cannon president and CEO of United Way of Broward County. “The train-the-trainer program will encourage providers working in healthcare facilities and health-related organizations throughout the state to expand their understanding of health disparities and learn how to implement change for greater health equity for all.”

The three organizations announced the program in June 2021. With support from the Florida Blue Foundation, the program will train more than 3,000 health care professionals over a four-year period. 

“Improving health equity across our state is essential to our mission of helping people and communities achieve better health,” said Susan Towler, executive director of the Florida Blue Foundation. “Through this innovative collaboration, we believe these three organizations can make great strides in educating and supporting health care providers across the state in their efforts to help Floridians reach optimal health, regardless of environmental, economic or social circumstances.”

For more information and to register for the program, please visit https://healthequityprogram.org/orlando-health

About the Florida Blue Foundation  

The Florida Blue Foundation enables healthy communities by making grants, building coalitions and embracing solutions that create a meaningful impact in its communities. More than 8 million Floridians have received services as a result of its community investments since its founding in 2001. The Florida Blue Foundation’s programs are focused on advancing mental well-being, improving health equity, impacting food security and addressing systemic racism and resulting health disparities. Florida Blue Foundation is a trade name of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation, Inc., an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, please visit www.FloridaBlueFoundation.com

About Orlando Health 

Orlando Health, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with $8 billion of assets under management that serves the southeastern United States. 

Founded more than 100 years ago, the healthcare system is recognized around the world for Central Florida’s only pediatric and adult Level One Trauma program as well as the only state-accredited Level Two Adult Trauma Center in the St. Petersburg region. It is the home of the nation’s largest neonatal intensive care unit under one roof, the only system in the southeast to offer open fetal surgery to repair the most severe forms of spina bifida, the site of an Olympic athlete training facility and operator of one of the largest and highest performing clinically integrated networks in the region. Orlando Health has pioneered life-changing medical research and its Graduate Medical Education program hosts more than 350 residents and fellows. The 3,200-bed system includes 10 award-winning hospitals, 9 hospital based ERs, and 7 free-standing emergency rooms; rehabilitation services, cancer and heart institutes, imaging and laboratory services, wound care centers, physician offices for adults and pediatrics, skilled nursing facilities, an in-patient behavioral health facility, home healthcare services in partnership with LHC Group, and urgent care centers in partnership with FastMed Urgent Care. More than 4,200 physicians, representing more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties have privileges across the Orlando Health system, which employs more than 23,000 team members. In FY21, Orlando Health served more than 160,000 inpatients and 3.6 million outpatients. During that same time period, Orlando Health provided approximately $648 million in total value to the communities it serves in the form of charity care, community benefit programs and services, community building activities and more. Additional information can be found at https://www.orlandohealth.com, or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @orlandohealth.

About United Way of Broward County 

United Way of Broward County is a volunteer driven, community-based, nonprofit organization servicing Broward County for more than 80 years. United Way of Broward County fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in the community. United Way of Broward County is the catalyst for change and centerpiece of partnerships that unite the hearts, minds, and resources within the Broward community. For more information, visit www.UnitedWayBroward.org.

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 51 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s scientific excellence, multidisciplinary research, and robust training and education. Moffitt is the No. 11 cancer hospital and has been nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report since 1999. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 7,000 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.4 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the momentum on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube