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Tampa partners with TGH on a wellness initiative to promote healthy habits

Aerial view of Tampa General Hospital
City of Tampa

The TampaWell program will include the construction of a "Health Trail" through downtown Tampa along with stressing the importance of exercise and healthy eating habits.

Tampa is partnering with Tampa General Hospital on a multi-year preventative wellness initiative aimed at improving the overall health of residents.

According to a press release, the Tampa General Hospital Foundation is contributing $1 million to help launch TampaWell in its first year.

"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," TGH president and CEO John Couris said in the release. "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."

John Couris and Jane Castor hold shovels next to a small tree
Daniel Wallace
Tampa General Hospital
Tampa General Hospital President and CEO John Couris, along with Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, officially launch TampaWell Activated by Tampa General Hospital at the TGH Family Care Center Healthpark at 5802 N. 30th Street in Tampa on May 10, 2022.

In addition to focusing on routinely prescribing healthy food and exercise as a way to promote wellness, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor announced the city plans several enhancements to promote health and fitness.

One phase of the plan will include creating a “Health Trail” that will connect TGH with Davis Islands and downtown Tampa to Bayshore Boulevard, the Cass and Jackson Street bicycle tracks, and the Selmon/Meridian Greenways.

Mile markers will also be placed throughout the city with scannable codes that will allow walkers, joggers and bicyclists to download trail maps and track their fitness progress.

Castor said the initiative will drive health and wellness tourism to the city while helping the city’s most at-risk residents.

"The Tampa region is already top of mind throughout the sports world thanks to the successes of our Buccaneers, Lightning and Rays,” Castor said in the release, “and now we're aiming to be a model for the nation in preventative health and wellness."

According to the release, about 29% of adults in Tampa are sedentary, about 26.7% are obese, and 36.3% have hypertension. Heart disease is also the leading cause of death in the U.S.

The initiative will encourage physicians to include prescribing healthy eating and physical activity as a way to treat and prevent chronic conditions.

A final phase of the plan involves the construction of a community garden at the hospital’s Family Care Center in East Tampa — in partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay — with the goal of teaching residents how to grow nutritious food and teach health eating habits.

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.