In 2003 the Central Hillsborough (Federal) Healthy Start (CHHS) Program leadership, staff and key community stakeholders participated in two community summits that led to an endorsement of the development of a nonprofit organization. This necessitated a transition that allowed the university to maintain its role as the director of research and evaluation while the grassroots community became the primary stakeholder in the Healthy Start Initiative and took greater leadership in increasing opportunities and resources to promote and protect the health and well-being of its citizens. Thus, CHHS successfully began the process of transitioning the ownership and governance of the CHHS Project from university-based to community-based via the establishment of REACHUP, Inc. (Respond, Educate, Advocate, & Collaborate for Health in Underserved Populations).
REACHUP, Inc. was officially incorporated in the summer of 2006 and received its 501c3 non-profit status. The REACHUP Foundation has also received its 501c3 non-profit status.
The REACHUP/CHHS Program has been strengthened by its close affiliation with the University of South Florida, College of Public Health, The Lawton and Rhea Chiles Center. The Chiles Center was created as a non-profit organization in 1996 with a mission to promote and protect the health of pregnant women, their infants, and young children through research, education and service. Its programs focus on determining the most effective strategies, programs and systems for reducing disparities in illness, disability and death among vulnerable MCH populations.
As a community-based 501c3 organization, REACHUP, Inc. will bring many benefits to its service population, in particular, and the Tampa Bay Region, in general. With the increasing capacity to sustain and enhance its current programs, REACHUP, Inc. is poised to expand its current repertoire to include new programs and partners. Additionally, REACHUP stands ready to provide the organizational and fiscal support to a network of community non-profit organizations that complement its vision, mission, goals, core values, and core beliefs.