— Endowment to ensure health and wellness for future generations —

WINTER GARDEN, Fla. (October 23, 2019) — The West Orange Healthcare District announced today it has established a new not-for-profit, the Foundation for a Healthier West Orange, to champion local health and wellness, and accelerate its long-term vision for the community.

“We believe west Orange County can become the healthiest community in the nation,” said West Orange Healthcare District CEO Tracy Swanson. “Over the past four years, we’ve taken a more direct-to-consumer approach to community health, and now the foundation can take that approach to the next level.”

The foundation will assume full responsibility for Healthy West Orange, a grassroots movement launched in 2016 by the District, Orlando Health and Observer Media Group. It will also create and launch a new community resource center called “HUBB,” or Healthy User Bulletin Board. When it’s up and running next year, HUBB will become a resource to help residents find and access local health and wellness programs and services.

“There are a whole host of organizations delivering health and wellness programs in our community,” said Swanson, “but not everyone is aware of them and if they are, they don’t necessarily know how to access them. HUBB will bridge the gap between these programs and the people who can benefit from them.”

HUBB, Healthy West Orange and the foundation will all occupy space in a new multi-purpose office and community building now under construction in east Winter Garden, at the corner of Plant Street and SW Crown Point Road. The new building is an important tool for the foundation, as more than half the available space will be leased to local organizations and businesses, with the rental income supporting the foundation’s ongoing operations.

“The Foundation for a Healthier West Orange will become the strongest, most active and most innovative health and wellness champion in our community,” said Jaclyn Whiddon of The Whiddon Group, who serves as the foundation’s chair. “It’s an exciting evolution that will reap benefits not only for our generation, but for many future generations to come. This is a great day for west Orange County.”

Whiddon leads a five-member foundation board that includes the senior-most executives at both area hospitals: Mark Marsh, president of Orlando Health-Health Central Hospital and Carl Dupper, CEO of AdventHealth Winter Garden. Rounding out the board are Tim Keating, president and CEO, RC Stevens Construction and Norma Sutton, vice president, World Trade Center Orlando.

“We have a terrific relationship with the West Orange Healthcare District and have been actively engaged in growing Healthy West Orange,” said Orlando Health-Health Central Hospital’s Marsh. “This was a natural next step for all of us.”

“The groundwork that’s been laid for the foundation and its emerging role in the community is outstanding,” said AdventHealth’s Dupper. “We’re honored and energized to be joining the team.”

Initial funding for the foundation is coming from two District grants. The first is a three-year, $10 million start-up grant to establish and staff HUBB for its first three years; and expand Healthy West Orange programs and outreach. When it debuted in 2016, Healthy West Orange was the first, hyper-local partnership that focused 100% on improving health and wellbeing in west Orange County, which it does through outreach, events and social engagement. The start-up grant also includes funds to build out, furnish and maintain the new building.

A second, $40 million grant will establish an endowed fund, with future earnings earmarked for programs and operations starting in year four and well into the future.

The District, which was created by the Florida legislature 70 years ago to ensure west Orange County residents had better access to healthcare services, will maintain its community healthcare grants program. Including the two grants to the foundation, the District has now awarded more than $180 million in local community grants to enhance residents’ health and wellness.

About the West Orange Healthcare District

The West Orange Healthcare District (WOHD) is an independent special healthcare district created in 1949 by the Florida Legislature and governed by a 16-member, volunteer board appointed by the Governor of Florida. Now in its 70th year, the District has awarded more than $180 million in local community grants to enhance residents’ health and wellness. For more, visit

About the Foundation for a Healthier West Orange

An independent, 501(c)3 organization, the Foundation for a Healthier West Orange inspires healthy behaviors, champions healthy programs, unites like-minded health organizations, encourages healthy community decisions and invests in residents’ health and wellbeing