Tampa General is working to reduce hospitalizations. That’s right, Florida’s premier academic health system is working to keep people away from the hospital by staying healthy.
Together with the City of Tampa today, Tampa General launched TampaWell, a first-of-its-kind initiative with the aim of creating an ecosystem where regular exercise and a healthy diet are part of everyday life in the city.
“More than ever before, we have a great opportunity to create a unique and holistic wellness ecosystem that not only improves the health of our residents and the health of our economy, but also differentiates Tampa as the most attractive wellness destination nationwide,” said John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General Hospital. “TampaWell will be the first of its kind in the nation — a wellness revolution and community movement that will improve the community’s health and resilience.”
TampaWell will span multiple years and engage residents, local organizations and businesses, health care providers and more to join in the effort.
As a start, TampaWell is focused on three initiatives in 2022. They include prescribing exercise and diet as an essential medical treatment, enhancing fitness trails and parks in and around downtown Tampa, and developing a community garden and food pantry in East Tampa.
“The Tampa region is already top of mind throughout the sports world thanks to the successes of our Buccaneers, Lightning and Rays, and now we’re aiming to be a model for the nation in preventive health and wellness,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor at the launch of the initiative.
Currently, 29% of adults in Tampa are sedentary. More than a quarter (26.7%) of them suffer from obesity and 36.3% are diagnosed with hypertension. With heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States, the opportunity is ripe for TampaWell to inspire lifestyle changes and improve overall health throughout Tampa Bay.
Area residents can download the TampaWell app for free to track their own progress and the community’s in achieving their collective health goals. App users can also access information on key health programs, upcoming wellness events, nutrition tips and more.
The foundation of TampaWell was inspired by the Wellness Valley in the Romagna region of Italy, also known as “the first worldwide district of wellness and quality of life.” The goal of the local initiative is for Tampa to be the ultimate wellness destination in the nation focused on preventive health practices and lifestyles.
The Tampa General Hospital Foundation has committed to jump-starting the project with a $1 million contribution to support TampaWell’s first year of operation.
“TGH is dedicated to empowering communities and transforming lives,” Couris said. “TampaWell is the embodiment of that dedication. We’re thrilled to be working with the City of Tampa on this effort and committed to building additional community partnerships that extend the wellness revolution to every neighborhood of our city.”