AdventHealth highlights commitment to healing whole community, releases community benefit report

bithlo groundbreaking

ORLANDO, Fla., April 24, 2019 — AdventHealth released its annual Community Benefit Report, announcing a $500,000 grant to build a new Community Health Center in Bithlo, which will expand much-needed services in one of Orange County’s underserved communities.

The report details a $499 million investment made in 2018 by AdventHealth in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties through charity care, health research and its support of local nonprofits that are tackling important issues such as mental health, food insecurity and chronic diseases.

“Our work in Bithlo is an example of our fundamental belief that caring for individuals’ health also means caring for the community’s health. That means providing greater access to health services, and caring for the body, mind and spirit,” said Daryl Tol, president and CEO of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division. “Partnering with local organizations that share our commitment to bringing care and services to those who need it most is key to achieving our goal of making our community one of the healthiest in the nation.”

Bithlo, located less than 20 miles east of downtown Orlando, has a long history of homelessness, unemployment and lack of basic services, like clean water. Many of its 8,000 residents are still facing challenges with housing, adequate transportation and access to health care. In 2010, Bithlo became AdventHealth’s first local health engagement project. Since then, the organization has partnered with local nonprofits to help address the needs of residents.

AdventHealth partners with Community Health Centers (CHC), a nonprofit organization that provides health care to uninsured, underinsured and underserved Central Floridians. CHC has been serving Bithlo in a 1,300 square-foot modular building. The unit has been operating at capacity as the only access point for family and pediatric medicine in the community. The new clinic is expected to open next year and will include adult and pediatric dental services, behavioral health and a low-cost pharmacy.

“The need for health care in this community is huge, so it’s heartening to see private, nonprofit groups step up to serve those who need it most in our communities,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. “All residents of Orange County deserve to be treated with dignity, and there is nothing more important to that dignity than accessible health care.”

The $500,000 grant is part of the $16 million in donations AdventHealth made last year to partner organizations to improve the health of the most vulnerable communities in Central Florida.

“For many of us it’s hard to imagine that there are people who have to walk miles to receive primary or dental care, but sadly this has been the reality for residents in Bithlo for decades,” said Margaret Brennan, CEO of Community Health Centers. “The new facility will not only be in their backyard, but it will also be a one-stop health center. We want to thank our longtime partner AdventHealth for making this possible.”

Other items detailed in AdventHealth’s annual Community Benefit Report:

  • $196 million in charity care — $30 million more than in 2017
  • $16 million in cash and in-kind contributions
  • $203 million in unpaid costs absorbed by the hospital from Medicaid reimbursement shortfalls
  • 196,270 unique Medicaid and uninsured patients served

To view AdventHealth’s 2018 Community Benefit Report, click here.