United Way Hosts Final Lecture in Powered by Purpose Speaker Series, Focusing on Health Equity in Indian River County

VERO BEACH, FL – April 29, 2024 – United Way of Indian River County (UWIRC) proudly concludes its Powered by Purpose: Speaker Series with a resounding focus on health equity within the local community. Sponsored by Northern Trust, this series has epitomized collaborative efforts, sparking vital discussions on purpose-driven initiatives and fostering partnerships to tackle pressing issues.

The final lecture, graciously hosted at Northern Trust, illuminated health’s pivotal role in individual well-being and community resilience. Central to the discussion was the imperative of ensuring equal access to healthcare services, with speakers showcasing concerted efforts to reduce disparities and promote health equity across all segments of society.

The event featured a distinguished lineup of healthcare leaders, each bringing invaluable expertise and insights. Marie Andress, CEO of Whole Family, is a beacon with 25 years of dedication to serving underserved communities. Dr. David Peter, Hospital CEO and VP CMO of Cleveland Clinic Indian River exemplifies a commitment to patient-centered care and community health. Meanwhile, Vicki Soule, CEO of Treasure Coast Community Health (TCCH), embodies over three decades of unwavering dedication to providing essential healthcare services to marginalized populations.

Marie Andress’s presentation shed light on Whole Family’s mission to deliver essential healthcare services to underserved populations, emphasizing that 64% of their patients fall below 200% of the poverty level, with services reaching over 15,050 individuals across four locations. Dr. David Peter underscored Cleveland Clinic’s patient-centric approach, noting its substantial healthcare service volume, with 227,000 outpatient visits and 22,000 admissions annually. Vicki Soule of TCCH highlighted the organization’s extensive outreach, providing vital care to more than 28,000 patients across numerous locations while addressing prevalent challenges such as workforce shortages and inflation impacting affordability within the community.

Despite acknowledging the challenges facing the healthcare landscape, including the availability of specialists, financial constraints, and workforce shortages, there was an overarching optimism about the potential for innovation and collaboration to overcome these hurdles and improve health outcomes for all residents.

The lecture also underscored the indispensable role of philanthropy in driving collaborative efforts to address healthcare disparities. Partnerships with local funders, including Northern Trust, have been instrumental in supporting initiatives to advance health equity and build a healthier community.

“As stewards of community well-being, United Way of Indian River County is honored to have hosted the final lecture in the ‘Powered by Purpose’ series,” said Meredith Egan, United Way CEO. “Through the generous support of sponsors like Northern Trust, we are empowered to drive meaningful change and foster a healthier, more equitable future for all residents.”

About United Way of Indian River County

United Way of Indian River County (UWIRC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every community member. United Way works with local programs to provide resources to individuals and families in crisis today, while working year-round to improve community conditions and create lasting solutions. We are effectively building a strong foundation and improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. For more information about your local United Way, please call (772) 567-8900 or visit our website, UnitedWayIRC.org.

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