As the global health community and the South Florida region continue to come together to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Foundation of South Florida has responded. Every decision we’ve made and continue to make is guided by our long-standing commitment and mission to ensure everyone in our community has the opportunity and resources they need to live a healthy life.


In July 2020, the Health Foundation of South Florida announced $1.5 million in funding to local nonprofits to help address COVID-19 racial and ethnic disparities. The commitment followed an earlier investment of nearly $500,000 for COVID-19 local relief efforts, to support the basic needs of individuals as well as those of nonprofit organizations working on the frontline to help vulnerable sectors across Miami-Dade and Broward.



The $1.5 million investment aims to increase outreach, education and access to diagnostic testing in some of the region’s most vulnerable communities—neighborhoods with higher rates of poverty, uninsured rates, less vehicle ownership and barriers to transportation.  It is part of a coordinated, data-driven and targeted plan to help reduce coronavirus transmission in existing and potential Miami-Dade and Broward “hot spots,” where residents are at higher risk for infections and severe outcomes because of social and economic conditions.



In collaboration with selected partners, the Foundation will analyze early outcomes, identify successes, address challenges, and ultimately adapt approaches as needed. Below are some highlights of the commitments.


As part of the investment, the Foundation partnered with Spatially Health, a data analytics and predictive modeling health tech company headquartered in Coral Gables, to develop the Health Foundation of South Florida COVID Vulnerability Index, a digital mapping tool that forecasts high-risk areas where potential outbreaks or spikes are likely to occur. Created exclusively for the Foundation, the map captures Census tract and block level data to help community partners identify exactly where and which interventions are most needed and can reach the highest number of vulnerable people.


Grants between $35,000 and $160,000 were awarded to five local organizations that will drive education and community outreach efforts, help identify barriers to care and coordinate the delivery of tests. In selecting these recipients, the Foundation placed an emphasis on funding and partnering with trusted Black- and Hispanic-led groups already embedded in our communities. The recipients are:

Healthy Little Havana, a neighborhood coalition that promotes healthy living in Little Havana.

James Wilson Bridges, MD Medical Society, the South Florida chapter of the nation’s oldest Black medical association.

Centro Campesino which advocates for and supports the economic advancement of farmworkers in Homestead and South Dade.

The Allapattah Collaborative Community Development Corporation, which works to ensure the equitable development of Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood by preventing the displacement of its small businesses and residents. 

YMCA of South Florida, the well-known nonprofit that nurtures the potential of kids, promotes healthy living and fosters a sense of social responsibility, and which will expand the role of their community wealth workers to conduct outreach and support testing efforts in Broward County. 


In addition, the Foundation invested $650,000 to Ready Responders, a New Orleans-based on-demand health service that delivers care through telehealth and other technologies. They will provide at-home COVID testing to residents of low-income housing developments or areas where access to a car or other means of transportation is a challenge. Comprised of a highly trained, multidisciplinary team of paramedics, EMTs, and nurses, Ready Responders has offered similar services in other major metropolitan areas such as New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New Orleans. Through their partnerships, they have also developed a system to prevent the delay of results and ensure patients receive quality care in a timely manner. 

This $1.5 million commitment follows our earlier investment of nearly $500,000 for COVID-19 local relief efforts, in support of the basic needs of individuals as well as those of nonprofit organizations working on the frontline to help vulnerable sectors across Miami-Dade and Broward.