ST. PETERSBURG, FL – The Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative (TBHC) was recently awarded $25,000 from the Tampa Bay Resiliency Fund to advance health equity among low income communities and people of color as the region recovers from the impact of COVID-19. Since 2003, TBHC has been creating in-person opportunities for members to create solutions that address poor health outcomes experienced by vulnerable populations. With the Tampa Bay region under “safer at home” orders, TBHC reimagined how to serve its members and quickly pivoted toward creating digital collaboration opportunities.
COVID-19, with all its challenges, created an opportunity to serve. TBHC members were used to in-person meetings for networking and capacity-building. The spread of the virus interrupted those opportunities. This came at a time when the 2019 TBHC leadership transition led to the Collaborative reimaging itself while remaining consistent with their origin story. This membership-led effort required building relationships, but again, the spread of the virus interfered. Then, in the midst of the Collaborative preparing to develop and launch its new initiatives, COVID-19 shifted the priorities of funders across the region. TBHC bounced back by seizing the opportunity presented by the Tampa Bay Resiliency Fund. Now the Collaborative is reimagining how to help agencies and nonprofits across the region collaborate for impact with the use of digital platforms.
According to the Pinellas Community Foundation, the Resiliency Fund is a unique partnership between local foundations that was launched to help critical organizations provide assistance to the most vulnerable of our local residents being affected by the COVID-19 public health crisis. Dr. Sheron Brown, TBHC’s Executive Director said, “Given the current crisis that the spread of the coronavirus presents, now more than ever is when we lean into the roots of our origin—to convene and collaborate for the purpose of serving those most in need in the Tampa Bay area, and we can use technology to help us.”
Thanks to the Resiliency Fund, the Collaborative is now in the process of developing two digital platforms— TBHC University for capacity building of the membership and TBHC Collaborate for local agencies and nonprofits across Tampa Bay to share their opportunities to collaborate. Both platforms will help these critical organizations leverage the power of collaboration to reduce the impact of health inequities revealed by COVID-19, and both will last to serve the community well beyond the crisis.
About Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative
The Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative is a membership-based nonprofit organization. It is member driven and has evolved over time in response to identified needs of the membership and the community. Membership includes health and human service organizations, businesses, healthcare providers and individuals concerned and impacted by the gaps and limitations of the current system. While TBHC does not provide direct services, collectively, member organizations provide services to meet the needs of all demographic groups and address the healthcare continuum. TBHC is committed to promoting and advancing the health equity through awareness, capacity-building and community collaborations. To learn more, visit http://www.tampabayhealth.org.