LIVING IN WINTER PARK 101 And the foundation spent about $160,000 to launch a program offering courses for adults 50 and over through Rollins College’s Center for Lifelong Learning. Classes, which meet in Winter Park and beyond, are capped at 35 students and are taught by local experts. Demand has exceeded expectations since the program began in 2013, says Jill Norburn, the center’s director. In 2015, nearly 1,100 people took at least one class, Norburn adds. This spring, the center will offer 128 classes, which typically meet for 90 minutes a week over four weeks. Among the most popular topics: “Nazi Germany,” “Using Meditation in Everyday Life” and “The Sistine Chapel Up, Down and Sideways.” Tuition is $65 per class. “For many, these classes have pulled them away from depression and isolation,” Norburn says. “They’re meeting new people, learning new things and also finding ways to get involved in the community through our different volunteer outlets.” HEALTHY COMMUNITIES Not everything the foundation supports is aimed at a particular age group, however. Its Healthy Central Florida partnership with Florida Hospital promotes broader wellness ideals such as walking and biking, healthful eating and smoke-free spaces. The partnership has organized walking and biking events and funded a mobile farmer’s market, for example. It also works at the policy level to push for improvements such as bike lanes and sidewalks that make it safe to be more active, says Jill Hamilton Buss, the partnership’s executive director. “If you change the environment, you change the behavior,” she notes. Healthy Central Florida’s Breathe Free Winter Park campaign has enlisted 32 restaurants that have pledged to keep their dining patios smoke-free, Buss says. (The number includes some that were already offering smoke-free patios along with others that changed their policy.) Research helped make the case that restaurants don’t miss losing many customers when they ban outdoor smoking: The 2014 health assessment found that only 10.3 percent of Winter Park residents and 7.3 percent of Maitland residents are smokers. In Eatonville, Healthy Central Florida is combating diabetes, obesity and other chronic diseases. The partnership’s research found that almost one in four residents of the historically African-American town had been diagnosed with diabetes — more than twice the national rate, says Julie Clyatt, a nurse practitioner for Florida Hospital. Clyatt is program director for Healthy Eatonville Place, a facility funded Here are the three largest grants the Winter Park Health Foundation awarded in 2014 (the most recent year available) in each of four categories. A complete list is at wphf.org/grants. CHILDREN AND YOUTH Foundation for Orange County Public Schools: $569,685 for CHILL, a mental-health counseling program. Foundation for Orange County Public Schools: $129,538 for two school-based health centers and nurse practitioners. Orange County Public Schools: $85,955 for a School Nursing Initiative, which helps provide nurses in 12 public schools. OLDER ADULTS National Gerontological Nursing Association: $64,196 for Be@Ease Central Florida, which encourages individuals and families to discuss and share their wishes for end-of-life care. VOICE (Volunteers Organized in Community Engagement): $48,365 for a program in which senior volunteers address community issues. Senior Resource Alliance: $40,000 for Neighbors Network, a membership organization that gives older adults help with household tasks. COMMUNITY HEALTH Florida Hospital Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes: $91,290 to support the opening of Healthy Eatonville Place, a health and diabetes-education center. Grace Medical Home: $42,000 for development of an electronic health record system. Hebni Nutrition Consultants: $36,240 for cooking classes and nutrition education for Eatonville residents who have or are at risk of developing diabetes. OTHER Winter Park Memorial Hospital: $400,000 for development of a Family Medicine Residence Building. Florida Hospital Foundation: $41,000 for a community health assessment and $180,000 for Healthy Central Florida, a largescale health and wellness initiative. by the foundation, Florida Hospital and the pharmaceutical company Sanofi. Since Healthy Eatonville Place opened in mid-2014, Clyatt says, about 350 people have benefited from health assessments and diabetes education programs, which are provided without charge. The center offers cooking and nutrition classes, and refers clients to physicians for additional help. The Florida Hospital Translational Research Institute is studying why diabetes is so prevalent in Eatonville, and whether the strategies of Healthy Eatonville Place prove effective in preventing and controlling it. One of Healthy Eatonville Place’s success stories is 60-year-old Charles Jackson, who was diagnosed with diabetes 35 years ago and later had quadruple bypass surgery. In cooking classes, Jackson says, he learned how to stop using salt and substitute other seasonings when preparing dinner — and to be more skeptical about ingredients. “I never read a label until I got involved in the class,” says the tall, lanky Jackson, who also joined a Healthy Eatonville Place support group and realized that many of his neighbors were dealing with similar problems. Despite his arthritis, Jackson says, he has been walking more than a mile every day “in segments” and is proud that he has stopped using a cane. Jackson still struggles with his health. But in summing up his situation, he could be citing a goal the foundation has for everyone as it prepares to break ground on Project Wellness: “I’m in a much better place — mentally, physically and spiritually.” For more information, visit wphf.org. The foundation was formed as an offshoot of Winter Park Memorial Hospital, which was organized in 1955 and in 2000 became part of the Florida Hospital system.
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