Education Foundation of Alachua County receives $60K grant from HCA

The Education Foundation of Alachua County recently received $60,000 from the HCA Healthcare Foundation.
The Education Foundation of Alachua County recently received $60,000 from the HCA Healthcare Foundation.
Courtesy of ACEF

The HCA Healthcare Foundation gave the Education Foundation of Alachua County $60,000 to train high school students in fire and medical professions as part of a new Career Pathways to a Healthier Florida program.  

The Education Foundation is one of 15 other foundations who received funds from HCA. Representatives Denise Kendust and Lauren Elliott of HCA Florida announced the donation during the Education Foundation’s annual board meeting on June 11. 

“This generous grant not only addresses a critical workforce need by fostering healthcare careers among Florida’s youth, but also leverages our capacity to connect students to their communities for meaningful and potentially life-changing learning opportunities,” Mary Chance, president and CEO of the Consortium said in a press release. “Together, we’re paving the way for a healthier, more prosperous future for Florida.” 

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HCA designed the Career Pathways to a Healthier Florida program to equip economically disadvantaged students with real-world experience and certifications in a variety of healthcare professions.  

Over the next three years, the grant will be used to support students in the Academy of Fire and Medical Services in Professional Academies Magnet at Loften High School and the Medical Skills program at Eastside High School. 

The Education Foundation also received nearly $500,000 in federal funding to further other new initiatives earlier this year. 

“This grant is not only an opportunity for HCA Florida to make a statewide impact, but also for these local students who otherwise would not have the opportunity for continued career success,” Mark Smith, chief and director of the Academy of Fire & EMS Professional Academies Magnet W.T. Loften High School said in a press release. “Many students come to the academy with a purpose because some experience impacted their lives profoundly. Others come with a curiosity and develop a passion for the work. All want to make a difference by helping others in some way.” 

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