Thanks to the generosity of local, state and national grant funding partners, Empath Health and its member programs are able to continue offering exceptional care and services to those impacted by serious illness, ageing or grief, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or ability to pay.
EPIC (Empath Partners in Care) was proud to be among the first round of grant recipients from The Plus Projec+, a partnership with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. This funding supported the EPIC Generations program to educate the community and respond to the unique challenges and needs of LGBTQ elders in Pinellas County.
The Pinellas Community Foundation is a valued partner that provides key support for Empath Health programs that serve some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Recent support includes:
- Capital equipment funding to purchase essential medical equipment for EPIC’s new Sexual Health Center in St. Petersburg.
- Operating support for the EPIC Generations program expanding tailored services for LGBTQ elders in Pinellas County.
- Operating support for Suncoast PACE, providing diabetes prevention and exercise programs to help improve quality of life and reduce unnecessary ER visits for PACE participants.
Previous support includes capital funding for Suncoast PACE for building renovations and increasing physical therapy services, capital funding for much-needed repairs and upgrades to EPIC’s Mobile Testing Unit, capital funding to upgrade EPIC kitchen facilities in St. Petersburg to provide hot meals for people living with HIV, and operating funds supporting HIV prevention services.
Senior Citizens Services has generously provided funds for several of our Empath Health programs:
- Suncoast PACE has received funding to provide non-medical home modifications and services to support low-income seniors in Pinellas County to age in place.
- Suncoast Hospice has received funding to provide acupuncture scholarships for seriously ill seniors who need support managing pain and other symptoms, increasing access of low-income hospice and palliative care patients to this highly effective complementary modality for improving wellness. Suncoast Hospice has also received funding to address bedbug infestations impacting hospice patients who are income constrained, as ridding a home of these incredibly disruptive and uncomfortable pests can be prohibitively expensive.
- Empath Health Community Counseling received funding in 2020-2021 to provide 300 free counseling sessions to anyone in our community 55 and older impacted by COVID-19.
Prior support has included funding to purchase tablets enabling telehealth mental health counseling for vulnerable PACE participants who were homebound due to COVID-19, for veteran-specific training materials for our social workers, for weighted blankets to ease anxiety for our Suncoast Hospice Care Center patients, to provide a bladder scanner for one of our Care Centers, to expand our Music in Caregiving program, for veteran pinning ceremonies and story days as part of our acclaimed Empath Honors program, and to enhance social activities at the Suncoast PACE Day Center.
The Retirement Research Foundation (RRF) provided critical funding for the first year of the EPIC Generations Friendly Caller program. This program seeks to reduce social isolation and increase community connectedness for older LGBTQ adults. RRF also previously funded the three-year Suncoast Hospice Timely Access Partnership (TAP). The purpose of the TAP program was to increase access to services, ensure seamless and timely transition to hospice care, and expand education/discussions on end-of-life care, especially for under-served populations.
The Florida Blue Foundation is a key partner supporting three innovative Empath Health programs:
- Suncoast Hospice’s Integrative Medicine and Palliative Arts program provides evidence-based modalities, including acupuncture, Reiki, music therapy, mindfulness meditation and aromatherapy, for Suncoast Hospice patients. Funding from the Florida Blue Foundation is supporting this program to focus on hospice and palliative care pulmonary patients, helping them to manage anxiety symptoms that exacerbate breathing difficulties.
- Suncoast PACE’s Healthy Living and Diabetes Prevention program is improving health outcomes by increasing access to healthy food, wellness coaching and physical activities for all PACE participants, as well as providing targeted diabetes prevention for individuals at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
- EPIC’s Friendly Caller program seeks to reduce loneliness and increase community connectedness for any older LGBTQ adults in the Tampa Bay area who are socially isolated and/or homebound.
The Suncoast Hospice Foundation has received generous funding from Alicia’s Angels to support Empath Health’s Perinatal Loss Program, providing support, education and comfort for families who have experienced a heartbreaking loss.