It takes a community to care for one another. Empath Health is honored to partner with our community and help improve lives by connecting people to care and services.
Three Empath Health community partnership specialists are dedicated to working with African-American, Jewish and Hispanic communities. They tap into the support of their care councils, who act as ambassadors extending information to those they serve in the community.
A first-time, joint holiday meeting and training for the care councils was held at Empath Health in December. Members arrived and mingled with soft piano music recordings playing. That music was the first teaching moment of the evening.
The event continued with introductions, dinner, a presentation by Suncoast Hospice Medical Director Jasmin Jerez-Marte and sharing information about services, testimonials and future goals.
“This is a way for us to get to know each other and learn what we all are doing. We want to give you a foundation so you can have the information to go out and talk to the community,” explained LaShante Keys, the African-American community partnership specialist.
Karen Davis-Pritchett serves as the director of provider and community relations overseeing the team of community partnership specialists and the team of professional liaisons. She stressed how integral the care councils are to educating and helping the community.
“You are part of our mission and vision with ensuring access to all of our communities. You are our eyes and ears to help us identify barriers to access. We want to say thank you. You are such an important part of our work.”
Keys later reported how the care councils have made a positive impact and continue to grow.
“Each of us (specialists) took time to give testimonials about how our care councils have assisted us with getting people into our Suncoast Hospice care and services. We have started expanding our African-American care council into south, mid and north-Pinellas County. We are also trying to increase our workshops that we do in the community,” he said.
Siegel noted that the event was well-received by attendees.
“My council members were very appreciative of the meeting and training. It was also interesting to see where some of our groups overlapped. For example, one of my council members is president of a Hadassah group who put on a community presentation about the opioid epidemic. That presentation was attended by our Hispanic community partnership specialist, Maria Pepe, and one of her council members. I am always happy when we can appreciate our differences and embrace our commonalities,” she shared.
New members are invited to join and serve on the care councils. For more information, contact Empath Health Jewish Community Partnership Specialist Kelly Siegel at (727) 735-8743 or KellySiegel@EmpathHealth.org.