Benicomp, a healthcare company that offers a Preventive Healthcare Management (PHM) program, is partnering with New Life Village, an intentional, intergenerational community in Tampa, to offer free healthcare services. New Life Village supports families raising adopted, kinship and foster children, many of whom have suffered trauma, by offering affordable housing and a sense of stability.
New Life Village is a 105-resident community that tackles three intersecting crises: the opioid epidemic, affordable housing and foster care. NLV’s Executive Director Mariah Hayden explained to Grit Daily that that, “Tampa has the highest number of children in foster care in the state of Florida.” The lack of affordable housing and the opioid epidemic exacerbate the foster care problem. The statistics around children in foster care and their lifetime trajectories are grim, and study upon study has shown that stability is vital for any child to become a well-functioning adult.
Hayden says, “Housing is healthcare,” because it’s one of the foundational elements of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. New Life Village offers a variety of programs for its residents through its Generations of Hope model, living out the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The elders in the community act as surrogate grandparents to the children, participating in the many activities that take place around the campus, and doing volunteer work, which is part of the program’s framework.
BeniComp’s preventive health management program with New Life Village consists of a health screening followed by functional medicine health coaching for a year. The first health screening was on September 12th, and 20 members of the NLV community opted to participate. BeniComp’s health coaches will assess the data and tailor a program to each participant’s needs and goals. They will give participants an accurate picture of their overall health, as well as the tools and knowledge to improve it, by offering health workshops throughout the year, and then gather the data to measure improvements.
BeniComp was well positioned to take on the coronavirus pandemic, as they already offered telehealth services to their clients. Their IncentiCare program, which offers lower deductibles for improved health has been dubbed, “the future of healthcare.” They felt it was time to give back to their community in Tampa, where the company is headquartered. New Life Village’s mission, of investing in the overall health of foster children and senior citizens by providing stability first, aligned with BeniComp’s mission. Steve Presser, CEO of BeniComp says, “We’re passionate about preventive health and community involvement. Providing the gift of health to a caring, intergenerational community is something we intend to do for years to come, and look forward to the ongoing relationship.”
Mariah Hayden says, “We’re very, very lucky.” Her own experience using functional medicine showed her its value, as well as its expense, “so the fact that our village is getting this for free for a year is amazing.”