The road to victory for the Miami Beach Education Foundation grew from a small grassroots effort into a city-wide campaign: nearly two months of tireless hard work and 205,000 votes later, the massive outreach efforts finally paid off. On Tuesday, October 30th, representatives from Aetna- one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies- arrived at the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors meeting to announce the Chamber as the winner of their 2012 Voices of Health Award.
Beating 33 other U.S. organizations, the Chamber pulled through at the close of the online voting competition to win the $30,000 grand prize, which will benefit the Miami Beach Education Foundation by providing local schools with much-needed healthcare and nursing services to help detect childhood health issues. The program will aid in directly combating the existing obesity epidemic, as many chronic conditions currently going untreated at local schools are symptoms of being overweight.
“This was an awesome community effort that truly demonstrates the power of membership,” said Chamber President and CEO Jerry Libbin.
Through the Aetna Voices of Health campaign, which aims to close racial and ethnic health care quality gaps and help people lead healthier lives, the public was able to cast votes from August until October for their favored nominated non-profit organization. The Miami Beach Education Foundation finished in first place with 205,629 votes; coming in at second was the Dallas Mayor’s Youth Fitness Initiative at 168,657 votes. Although still new, this year’s campaign experienced some growth compared to 2011, the year the program was established: last year’s 636,539 total votes grew to 718,354 in 2012. Aetna reports that this year’s campaign also included international votes from the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Australia, Germany and France!
“We are thrilled by the number of votes and the amount of public involvement in this year’s Aetna Voices of Health campaign,” said Floyd W. Green III, Aetna’s head of Community Relations and Urban Marketing. “The Miami Beach Chamber Education Foundation is one of the nation’s top community groups ensuring that adults and children are educated about the various issues that impact their health. We are inspired by their efforts and proud to support them.”
The Chamber was equally thrilled, as the news quickly spread from member to member.
“The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation is honored to collaborate with Aetna on this initiative, which allows us to harness our very active community to help meet the need for health care in our local schools,” said Alan Lips, Chairman of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. “The tremendous response from our community and business leaders supported us in our victory and we thank them all…as well as Aetna on behalf of our students, who will now receive the care they deserve.”
To learn more about this prestigious award and the Miami Beach Education Foundation, visit online at www.aetnavoicesofhealth.com.