Miami Heat Donates $1M, Partners With Direct Relief to Address Healthcare Gap Among South Florida’s Minority Communities


Health Equity

The HEAT experience serving meals to over 400 frontline healthcare workers and 150 patients at Community Health of South Florida Inc. (Photo: NBA)

The Miami HEAT, together with the Micky & Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, today announced a $1,000,000 donation to Direct Relief’s Health Equity Fund, which will expand the organization’s work towards health equity by ensuring health centers and free and charitable clinics have access to the medicines and funding they need to serve their communities.

“With this donation to Direct Relief, we hope to not only highlight the inequities that exist in healthcare in South Florida’s minority communities, but to begin to close the gap,” said Eric Woolworth, President of The HEAT Group’s Business Operations.

The unfolding COVID-19 pandemic has again highlighted the severe inequities that exist in the United States among persons of different races, as persons of color have experienced disproportionately higher rates of infection, hospitalization, and death from the virus. The most recent CDC surveillance data reports that Black or African American persons COVID-19 infection rates are 2.6x higher, hospitalizations are 4.7x higher, and deaths are 2.1x higher compared to White, Non-Hispanic persons.

To launch the partnership and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, HEAT legend Glen Rice, TV Host and Courtside Reporter Jason Jackson, and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Kionne McGhee joined the Miami HEAT Dancers, Burnie the mascot and HEAT staffers on Friday at Community Health of South Florida, Inc.’s Doris Ison Health Center to serve meals to its 400 frontline healthcare workers and 150 patients. The meals were prepared by World Central Kitchen.

“CHI Is honored to receive donations, lunch and this festive visit from Direct Relief and the Miami HEAT,” said Brodes H. Hartley, Jr. CHI CEO. “I know our staff will be delighted with the gifts and recognition. They have selflessly devoted themselves to patient care throughout this pandemic.”

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