Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg brings new community health resource center to Lakeview Shopping Center

By J.A. Jones, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG –Efforts towards creating more community partnerships and greater health equity in St. Petersburg will get a major boost when the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg (FHSP) opens the doors to a new Social Change Center in Lakeview Shopping Center.

Construction on the new center, which moves forward with a simple but powerful mission — “to end differences in health due to social or structural disadvantages and to improve population health” – will begin in Nov.

FHSP is creating the center to provide much-needed meeting spaces for Pinellas County organizations to come together, share resources, develop strategies and carry out initiatives.  The Foundation’s offices will occupy the back portion of the building.

In the coming months, community members – especially those in the surrounding neighborhoods – will be invited to help design the resources and programs at the facility, as well as to weigh in on its final name.

“The center will be a gathering place to listen, learn, work, heal and create with like-minded people who have a vision for addressing health equity in our community,” shared Dr. Katurah Jenkins-Hall, St. Pete native and the foundation’s board vice chair. “It will not just be an office and convening place, but a welcoming space that we hope will be utilized by community nonprofits and residents.”

By placing an innovative and mission-driven center in the long-abandoned 23,250 square-foot vacant retail space at 2333 34th St. S, FHSP hopes to supercharge community initiatives that address the greatest contributors to poor health such as poor dietary habits, lack of exercise, and most important, systemic racism and poverty.

Since it launched in 2015, the FHSP has invested over $17 million into the region through projects and grants.

“Nothing happens without investment, and the time is ripe to provide resources to fuel the community’s wisdom about social change,” said Randall H. Russell, president and CEO of FHSP. “Persistent, intractable social problems like poverty and discrimination will not disappear without concerted, dedicated and focused efforts.”

Russell believes the center will also encourage the vision, creative problem solving and initiatives that already exist in St. Pete.

“The Social Change Center will amplify the wisdom and innovative spirit that resides in the community, particularly among those who are often not given a voice. People are our greatest asset and the single most important driver of social change, but they need support to cultivate and curate their wisdom into solutions.”

The Center will also provide an economic boost to the area. The Foundation is committed to developing and using local vendors and is expecting to see the facility bring hundreds of visitors to the neighborhood each year through events and activities.

“The Social Change Center will support our community in their pursuit of innovative solutions to the social determinants of health,” said Jonathan M. Ellen, M.D., president and CEO, and physician-in-chief of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and FHSP’s board chair.

“As a society, we understand the need to fund innovation in the fields of business, medicine and technology, but often fail to invest in solutions to health disparities and inequality, he said, noting that the center will be a community resource designed to empower residents to envision and build a healthier and more equitable south Pinellas County.

About Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg

FHSP is a private foundation formed in 2013 following the sale of the nonprofit Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. It is the steward of almost $180 million in assets to support health equity in Pinellas County. FHSP inspires and empowers people, ideas, information exchange, organizations and relationships to end differences in health due to social or structural disadvantages and improve population health.

One Reply to “Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg brings new community health resource center to Lakeview Shopping Center”

  1. Greg says:

    See posted comments. Are 2020, One Community St Pete, Council Members and CRA leaders involved?

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