Miami HEAT Donates $1M In Support Of Minority Healthcare Infrastructure

Your Miami HEAT are partnering with Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies—without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. Together with the Micky & Madeleine Arison Family Foundation we have made 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. This is the next step in our continuous effort to use our unique platform and standing in the community to deliver on our social justice pledge and effect positive change that uplifts the Black community.

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 will join the Miami HEAT Dancers, Burnie the mascot and HEAT staffers on Friday joined 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, with whom we partnered last month by making a $3 million donation to help support minority-owned restaurants.

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.

“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. “And, thanks to our partnership with World Central Kitchen, we will provide meals from local, minority-owned restaurants for the frontline healthcare workers, allowing us to express our appreciation for their exhaustive work, especially during the pandemic.”

“Direct Relief has the privilege of working closely with the network of deeply committed non-profit healthcare providers—health centers and free and charitable clinics and their teams—that employ the tenets of meaningful healthcare, care that is high-quality, accessible, affordable, and culturally appropriate,” said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief President and CEO. “Located in medically underserved areas, these providers are anchors in their communities, and often provide health education, child and after school care, rental assistance programs, mobile healthcare, access to healthy food programs, and other critical social services that are responsive to societal factors that play a role in patient health. Community Health of South Florida, Inc. (CHI) is a shining example of one of these critical community health centers.”

“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.”

Donations to Direct Relief’s Health Equity Fund are welcome. Please visit HEAT.com/donate for more information.

About Direct Relief

A humanitarian organization committed to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the world to communities in need— without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. For more information, please visit https://www.DirectRelief.org