Photo: Deborah Gauvreau and Emile Gauvreau

UPLIFT Florida Network Presents at Florida Blue Foundation 2022 Community Health Symposium and Sapphire Awards

Posted on May 09, 2022 by Deborah Gauvreau, consultant with The Patterson Foundation
With more than 550 attendees, the Florida Blue Foundation held its 17th Annual Community Health Symposium and Sapphire Awards conference May 4–5, 2022. The theme of this year's Symposium was Big Issues in Health: A Focus on Health Equity.

UPLIFT Florida Network was honored to present, Healthy Aging for All Floridians – A Fresh Approach.

UPLIFT is a new nonprofit organization. Its mission is to improve the well-being of individuals and communities via a network of villages and organizations supporting them. We recognize that everyone can engage in building a better future so Floridians can live, thrive, and age in community!

Deborah Gauvreau and Emile Gauvreau represented The Patterson Foundation and UPLIFT Florida Network. Two leaders from Florida villages participated in our Q & A: Cathy Leiblich with Neighbors Network and Diane Gutman with Wellington Cares.

UPLIFT's presentation gave attendees insights into burdens arising from dramatic demographic shifts. It covered the development of UPLIFT, how it's built on the foundation of the 20+ year national Village to Village Network and movement, and how UPLIFT innovatively reimagines opportunities for the future. Attendees learned how UPLIFT could improve equity so every Floridian seeking to age in community can live and thrive in place.

UPLIFT has four essential components: a "hub" that provides the organizational infrastructure, villages, strategic alliances, and volunteers. Villages are community-based organizations – communities of belonging – where neighbors are helping neighbors.

There are currently four villages in Florida located in Clearwater, Orlando, Tallahassee, and Wellington. All of these villages have joined UPLIFT as associate members.

The objective of UPLIFT is to expand the coverage of villages to all areas in Florida. Key to the model's success will be the establishment of a network of villages supported by a network of related organizations. The strategy is to create an integrated fabric of individuals, villages, and services that address factors such as social isolation, food security, mobility, and access to necessary services.

Everyone can contribute to achieving UPLIFT's mighty vision as we thrive together in community!

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