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New UF Health Jacksonville center will target health care inequities

UF Health

The Florida Blue Foundation is granting $3.7 million to UF Health's Urban Health Alliance to establish the statewide Center for Health Equity and Social Justice.

With the help of a $3.7 million grant, UF Health Jacksonville will establish a statewide center to address inequities in health care.

The Florida Blue Foundation is making the grant to UF Health's Urban Health Alliance, which aims to ensure that families, individuals and communities of need have access to health care. The money will be used to establish the Center for Health Equity and Social Justice.

“This is an incredibly generous grant to UF Health Jacksonville and the Urban Health Alliance that will allow us to continue to focus our attention on the communities and people who need us the most,” Russ Armistead, CEO of UF Health Jacksonville, said in a news release.

The Florida Blue Foundation, the philanthropic foundation for the state's Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, supports programs focused on improving food security, health equity and mental well-being in communities throughout the state.

In 2020, Florida Blue established the Equity Alliance to address systemic racism and health inequities in the communities it serves. The UF Health grant is part of a $25 million commitment to those issues over five years.

“While we have always acknowledged that health disparities exist, COVID-19 shined a spotlight on the ongoing impact of systemic racism and long-standing health inequities,” said GuideWell and Florida Blue President and CEO Pat Geraghty. “Many underserved communities faced higher rates of illness, hospitalizations and death."

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