Fort Lauderdale, FL – Jasmin Shirley, Senior Vice President of Broward Health Community Health Services, was recently selected as one of the 2016 Sapphire Awards finalists among 6 individuals statewide. The awards, presented by the Florida Blue Foundation with grants totaling $350,000, honor outstanding work by individuals, programs and nonprofit organizations in community healthcare, or healthcare-related fields, distinguished by leadership, innovation and achievements in community health.
Ms. Shirley was one of two individual finalists from South Florida. The winners of each category will be announced at the conclusion of a two-day Sapphire Symposium, titled “Health Transformation: The Power of Engagement,” which takes place April 20-21st at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando featuring community health experts from around the state and country.
Shirley's achievements span 32 years of dedication to the most vulnerable and forgotten who are most in need. Shirley currently oversees Broward Health's Community Health Services (CHS) division, inclusive of 10 primary care centers, a Federally Qualified Health Center for the Homeless, a home health and hospice agency and an urgent care center. She is known for her early and continuous work in HIV/AIDS and for her dedication, passion, and relentless determination to provide quality healthcare to the most vulnerable. She is active in the community, serving in leadership roles for numerous organizations that work to improve health care in the community.
One of Ms. Shirley’s greatest achievements was in 1984 and its effects are still making a difference today for the most vulnerable of Broward County. Ms. Shirley faced the tragic truth about AIDS long before others even wanted to think about this disease. Ms. Shirley convinced the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Services (HRS) to create a countywide AIDS task force and to provide outpatient care for AIDS patients, a radical concept at the time, as providing care for sick people was something HRS had never done. Through Ms. Shirley’s tenacity and persistence against tremendous opposition, Northwest Health Center began treating AIDS patients in 1987. Ms. Shirley is as dedicated to AIDS patients today as she oversees Broward Health’s Ryan White programs and works with Broward County, other agencies, and planning boards to ensure delivery of quality care.
Ms. Shirley has remained constant in her focus and mission to serve the underprivileged and underserved. Her passion and unselfish devotion to them drives her to do everything she can to ensure the most vulnerable have access to quality healthcare. As Senior Vice President of CHS, she oversees programs for the working poor and indigent to ensure they receive quality healthcare. As with her tenacity in getting care and services for persons with HIV/AIDS, she has fought for improved services for the homeless through the new, larger Bernard P. Alicki Health Center, helped foster children and families through the Kinship Cares program, and improved infant, child, and adolescent health through the Healthy Start program, to name a few.
Ms. Shirley’s knowledge of AIDS from the epidemic’s beginning through current treatments, issues, and community needs and having her hands on the pulse of the low-income, underserved with regard to healthcare makes her one of the strongest advocates and fighters for those who lack access to healthcare.
Finalists were selected from among 112 nominees. An independent panel of experts with state and national expertise in community health best practices will select the winner in each category.
“This group of finalists truly represents the outstanding individuals, programs and nonprofit organizations that stood out as the best in their categories,” said Susan Towler, Florida Blue Foundation vice president. “The Foundation is proud to recognize them as finalists for the excellent work they are doing to make Florida a healthier state.”
Since 2005, Florida Blue Foundation has presented 60 Sapphire Awards, totaling more than $3.4 million in grants, to nine individuals and 51 programs and organizations from across Florida.