TampaWell aims to make Tampa the ultimate wellness destination in the U.S.
TAMPA, Fla. , May 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The wellness revolution is about to begin in Tampa Bay!
Tampa General Hospital (TGH) and the City of Tampa announced a groundbreaking community health and wellness initiative on Tuesday, with the goal of making Tampa the ultimate wellness destination in the United States.
TampaWell Activated by Tampa General Hospital is a multi-year effort in partnership with the City of Tampa that will focus on engaging the entire community in preventative health efforts. The partnership will focus on three initiatives in 2022 – routinely prescribing exercise and healthy food as medicine, enhancing fitness trails and parks in the downtown and adjacent areas, and developing a community garden and food pantry in East Tampa.
The Tampa General Hospital Foundation is contributing $1 million to help launch TampaWell and support its first year of operation.
"More than ever before, we have a great opportunity to create a unique and holistic wellness ecosystem that not only improves the health of our residents and the health of our economy, but also differentiates Tampa as the most attractive wellness destination nationwide," John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General Hospital, said during a morning press conference at TGH Family Care Center Healthpark on North 30th Street. "TampaWell will be the first of its kind in the nation -- a wellness revolution and community movement that will improve the community's health and resilience."
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, who joined Couris at the announcement, said TampaWell will benefit the city in two broad respects – not only will it focus on preventative health and support the city's most at-risk residents by helping to address underlying social factors that impact their health, but it will also drive health and wellness tourism to the city.
"The Tampa region is already top of mind throughout the sports world thanks to the successes of our Buccaneers, Lightning and Rays, and now we're aiming to be a model for the nation in preventative health and wellness," Castor said.
The TampaWell initiative is modeled after the Wellness Valley, an internationally acclaimed effort in the Romagna region of Italy that describes itself as "the first worldwide district of wellness and quality of life" in existence. Wellness Valley draws on some 250 public and private stakeholders in the region to support and amplify its mission of focusing on preventative health rather than the treatment of chronic disease.
Likewise, TampaWell is drawing upon the input and participation of dozens of local organizations in Tampa, including community groups, businesses, sports teams, social services agencies, and health care providers, and will be actively encouraging additional local entities to join in the effort.
While Tampa already has a good foundation for promoting wellness – including a young and growing workforce, a good economic environment, and a solid infrastructure of fitness facilities and programs – it also has some unhealthy habits. Roughly 29 percent of adults in the city are sedentary, about 26.7 percent are obese, and 36.3 percent have hypertension. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.
TampaWell has its sights on improving those statistics.
With the foundational view that "exercise is medicine," TampaWell will encourage physicians and other providers to systematically include physical activity when designing treatment plans. Along with healthy eating, physical activity promotes optimal health and is integral to the prevention and management of chronic conditions.
Meanwhile, the goal is to make enhancements throughout the city, including installing mile markers and scannable codes where walkers, joggers and bikers can download trail maps, fitness tips and track their progress. Future plans for TampaWell include creating a "Health Trail" that will connect TGH's properties on Davis Islands and downtown Tampa to Bayshore Boulevard, the Cass and Jackson Street Cycletracks and the Selmon/Meridian Greenways.
The third major focus of TampaWell this year will be the construction of a community garden at TGH Family Care Center in East Tampa. The community garden will provide a space to learn about nutrition and healthy eating habits, along with teaching the community to grow and prepare their own nutritious fruits and vegetables.
The community garden will be connected with a food pantry in partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay. TampaWell will provide and coordinate healthy eating and cooking classes in conjunction with our community partners.
Connecting as many residents as possible to the program is a key to its success. TampaWell will also launch an app to ensure everyone in the city has access to the free program. The app will track individual and community-wide progress and data and offer users information on health prevention programs, showcase wellness tourism opportunities and local hotels, include wellness event listings, and share nutrition tips.
"TGH is dedicated to empowering communities and transforming lives," Couris said. "TampaWell is the embodiment of that dedication. We're thrilled to be working with the City of Tampa on this effort and committed to building additional community partnerships that extend the wellness revolution to every neighborhood of our city."
ABOUT TAMPA GENERAL HOSPITAL
Tampa General Hospital, a 1,041-bed non-profit academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region's only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in U.S. News & World Report's 2021-22 Best Hospitals, and one of the top four hospitals in Florida, with five specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. The academic medical center's commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious 2021 Forbes magazine rankings – America's Best Employers by State, third out of 100 Florida companies and first among health care and social organizations and 13th nationally in America's Best Employers for Women. Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal 2020 provided a net community benefit worth more than $182.5 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education, and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation's busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With five medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center, and its 32-bed Neuroscience, Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of Florida. It also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital's footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health and 19 outpatient Radiology Centers. Tampa Bay residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track. As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is the first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost. For more information, go to www.tgh.org.
Media Contact: Karen Barrera
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SOURCE Tampa General Hospital