The Land Of Opportunity
In recent years, we at AdventHealth have begun to retool our efforts to help build healthier communities both here in Central Florida and the world over. With the meteoric rise of obesity plaguing a third of our US population, and increases in pediatric diabetes, the current model of treating disease after it becomes a problem is simply not sustainable. As we enter the next millennium in health care, we have the responsibility to be both partners and advocates in healing, which starts with proactive wellness programs like Healthy Central Florida.
“Healthy Central Florida is one of the most exciting projects I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of, because I’ve seen firsthand how these changes can impact health as a whole.” - Ken Bradley
With an ambitious goal of making Winter Park and its surrounding areas the healthiest community in the nation, Healthy Central Florida has set out to transform its vision into a reality. With help from AdventHealth; Winter Park Health Foundation; the Cities of Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville, as well as other key partners; this health movement benefits from a unified network of support from various corners of the community.
Ken Bradley, Winter Park mayor and campus administrator for Winter Park Memorial Hospital, A AdventHealth, is an early adopter of Healthy Central Florida’s goal. “About four years ago, we began making changes here in our own hospital, encouraging employees to lead healthier lives with fun, engaging programs. Today, we’re seeing incredible differences in those who have taken the health journey — a reduction in weight, cholesterol and blood sugar—and many who have quit smoking. Our AdventHealth family is making the necessary changes to live healthier lives,” said Bradley. He added, “Healthy Central Florida is one of the most exciting projects I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of, because I’ve seen firsthand how these changes can impact health as a whole.”
Healthy Central Florida encourages individual behavioral health changes by instituting community-based programs geared toward lifestyle improvements, like being more active and eating healthier.
Much more than an awareness initiative, Healthy Central Florida encourages individual behavioral health changes by instituting community-based programs geared toward lifestyle improvements, like being more active and eating healthier. By working directly with city governments, the program addresses sidewalk, bicycle path and crosswalk improvement. In addition, through partnerships with local grocers and public schools, the program seeks to enrich nutrition in student lunches.
Jill Hamilton, executive director of Healthy Central Florida, is encouraged by the strong support they have received thus far, and is confident that it will keep growing. “We’re changing behavior, not just raising awareness, so this is a long-term vision. It will take years to see the full benefits, but by bringing everyone together, studying what’s going on around the country and bringing best practices to Central Florida, we can have the greatest impact on the health of our community.”
By laying groundwork early on with local governments and like-minded entities like AdventHealth, Healthy Central Florida is destined to grow from a grassroots crusade to a city-wide movement. Imagine when escalating trends of disease and interventional hospital care are replaced with community-wide wellness and increased longevity. We look forward to being an integral part of the transformation and are confident that its success will spread throughout Florida and to the world beyond.
For additional information about Healthy Central Florida, please visit HealthyCentralFlorida.org