May 20, 2015 | MIAMI – The fifth-grade class from Kingdom Academy School in Kendall studied health
outside of a traditional classroom today during a field trip to Kendall
Regional Medical Center, which was sponsored by HCA Healthcare and the
Step Up For Students Scholarship Program.
What made the field trip even more special, however, is that the majority
of the students there today are benefiting from the Step Up For Students
Scholarship Program, a nonprofit organization that administers the Florida
Tax Credit Scholarship Program. The program provides scholarships to low-income
Florida families and allows recipients to choose between a scholarship
to help with private school tuition and fees, or a transportation scholarship
to attend an out-of-district public school.
HCA Healthcare offered the event to Kingdom Academy School students as
part of the company’s ongoing commitment to the program. HCA Healthcare
joined Step Up For Students as a corporate partner in 2005 and has since
contributed more than $100 million to the scholarship program. During
Scott A. Cihak, CEO of Kendall Regional Medical Center, presented the company’s
2015 contribution of $12 million, which will fund more than 2,000 scholarships.
“This is truly an honor to give back to the community we serve and
we’re hopeful some of the children we’ve met today will become
part of our company’s workforce and community leaders in the future.”
Prior to the event, Michael Joseph, HCA’s East Florida Division president,
said the partnership between Step Up For Students is a partnership that
makes sense to the company – and the community.
“As a teaching community hospital, Kendall Regional Medical Center
is committed to providing the best information and care to help our neighbors
live healthy lives, which is why we wanted to extend this opportunity
to the Kingdom Academy School students,” said Michael Joseph, HCA’s
East Florida Division president. “We are proud of HCA’s partnership
with the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program. Together, we are helping
students in our community thrive.”
Step Up CMO and Vice President of Individual Fundraising Alissa Randall
said long-term partnerships have been at the core of the scholarship program
and will remain key for the future of its success.
“HCA Healthcare has been a strong supporter of our program for a
decade now, and because it’s all for the children, it’s truly
inspiring to think of the thousands of Florida students whose lives have
been positively influenced because of HCA’s contributions,”
Randall said. “We are humbled and grateful for their support and
the investment in the future of our state’s children.”
Before the tour of the hospital including the pediatric unit, got underway,
the fifth-graders met Justine Marty, Child Life Specialist, and learned
about health safety and the importance of injury prevention.
Kingdom Academy School educates students in pre-kindergarten through fifth
grade. About 270 students are enrolled this year, more than 100 of whom
are using a Step Up scholarship to attend the school. There are more than
15,000 students in Miami-Dade County using Step Up scholarships at 335
participating schools, and about 70,000 students on the scholarship program
statewide this school year.
About Step Up For Students
Step Up For Students is a nonprofit organization responsible for helping
administer the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. The scholarship
program is available to students who qualify for free- or reduced-price
school lunch program, and students who are in foster care or who are homeless.
It provides tuition assistance to the private school of their parents’
choice or transportation help to an out-of-district public school. Scholarships
are funded by corporations that receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit
for their contributions.
Step Up For Students also helps administer state-funded Personal Learning
Scholarship Accounts (PLSA) for Florida students with special needs. With
the PLSA’s, recipients may use the funds for a variety of educational-related
services including tuition, part-time private tutoring, occupational therapy,
instructional materials and other services.
For more information, visit www.StepUpForStudents.org.
About HCA Healthcare
HCA Florida is a comprehensive network of 46 hospitals, 31 outpatient surgery
centers & imaging facilities, physician practices, Medical education
and training programs and a complete continuum of specialized health programs
and services that meet the healthcare needs of residents and businesses
in Florida. HCA Florida’s 66,000 physicians and employees continue
to provide a quality foundation for delivering care to our patients safely,
effectively and compassionately. All hospitals are Joint Commission Accredited,
with designations such as Accredited Chest Pain Centers, Primary Stroke
Center Certification and 8 Level II Trauma Centers.
About Kendall Regional Medical Center
Kendall Regional Medical Center is a 417-bed, full-service teaching hospital
providing 24-hour comprehensive medical, Level II Trauma, burn (adult
& pediatric), surgical, behavioral health, pediatric and diagnostic
services, along with a wide range of patient and community services. Kendall
Regional Medical Center has been honored by being nationally recognized
with many prestigious awards and accolades, including: HealthGrades Distinguished
Hospital (Top 5%) for Clinical Excellence, The Joint Commission Certification
as a Primary Stroke Center, Accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI, recognized
by US News and World Report for receiving The American Stroke Association’s
Get With The Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus award, The Joint Commission
as a “Top Performer” on key quality measures, and eight years
as a Top 100 Hospital by Truven Health Analytics. For further information,
call (305) 222-2200, or visit www.kendallmed.com.