Kantrell Young, Executive Secretary at Community Health of South Florida, Inc., couldn’t contain her excitement as she arrived at the main entrance of Doris Ison Health Center. Burnie, the Miami HEAT Mascot, was dancing, and the HEAT dancers were shaking their hips along with him. The music was pumping, and the Doris Ison parking lot had been transformed into a mega celebration.
This surprise helped lift the spirits of CHI employees, like Young. The Miami HEAT and Direct Relief joined forces to donate funding and serve meals to 400 frontline healthcare workers and patients on January 15, 2021. The memorable event brought smiles and much needed laughter during this stressful pandemic.
“ CHI is honored and grateful to receive donations, lunch, and a festive visit from Direct Relief and the Miami HEAT” said Brodes H. Hartley, Jr., CHI CEO. “It’s wonderful to be recognized. I know this gesture will go a long way with our team at CHI, as we continue to devote ourselves to the health care of this community.”
At the celebration, the Miami HEAT and the Micky & Madeleine Arison Family Foundation presented a check for $1,000,000 to Direct Relief’s Health Equity Fund. The donation gives health centers like CHI access to funding needed to serve its communities.
“We are very appreciative to Direct Relief and the HEAT for what they do for the community and for what they are doing today for CHI,” said Hartley.
COVID-19 has disproportionally affected people of color with higher rates of infection, hospitalization, and death from the COVID-19 virus. This event honored the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday as organizations worked to deliver a positive change and uplift the Black community.
Miami HEAT legend Glen Rice, TV host and courtside reporter Jason Jackson, and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Kionne McGhee joined the fun and even handed out lunch at the event.
“I am so thankful for the meal and the great experience we just had,” said Kantrell Young. “It feels good to be acknowledged for everything we have accomplished throughout this pandemic.”
CHI staff members said they walked away from the event, feeling a renewed sense of optimism and energy.
“It is a privilege to work for CHI, and I really appreciate all the unforgettable moments our partners provide to us every single day,” said Young.