Father of the Month: February 2017

Feb 28, 2017  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition would like to congratulate William Pippin on being chosen as the February 2017 Father of the Month.Misty and Will 4th of July

William was nominated by his wife of 23 years, Misty. They have four children. Misty nominated William because of his endless efforts to provide for his family in many different ways.

“When all of our kids were young he was the one who took them to school or the babysitter and he always tried to take off for field trips or special events” Misty said. “My husband is the guy that can take a not so fun experience and turn it into a great one.”

In addition to his full time job, William is also a youth pastor at Parkwood Baptist Church; a leader of an All-Pro Dad Breakfast which occurs once a month; and he sets up and host a dive-in at a local apartment complex during the summer.

Noah and WillWilliam is currently attending Jacksonville University, along with his wife and three of his children, where he is working to obtain his second Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree.

“It’s not easy doing all he does to provide and take care of our family but he does it and we all appreciate him so much for it” Misty said.

Family pictureWilliam plans to continue to be the best father that he can be, as well as inspire youth and engage with the community in which he lives.

On behalf of the Coalition and our Father of the Month sponsors, Nothing Bunt Cakes and RimTyme, we would like to congratulate William Pippin on being chosen as the Father of the Month.

If you would like to nominate someone for the Mother/Father of the month, click here.

The Coalition & Jersey College partner to offer a community-based experience to students

  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

IMG_2444Nursing students at the Jersey College School of Nursing – Jacksonville will soon have a better understanding of maternal and child health issues in the community as part of a partnership between the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition and Jersey College.

A community-based clinical experience will be incorporated into a required Jersey College course in maternal and newborn nursing in which content related to social determinants of health, the life course perspective, collective impact, health equity, toxic stress, cultural competence and nursing leadership will be provided to senior nursing students. The community-based clinical experience will be held at the Magnolia Project and the Magnolia Project OASIS, an AGAPE Community Health Center and facilitated by experienced maternal child health nurse educators and interdisciplinary staff.

IMG_2464Alex Tarabochia, a summer intern with the Coalition and 2014-15 National Health Corps Florida Americorps member who served at the Magnolia Project, conducted the original research that laid out the foundation for the community-based experience. And with the help of Faye Johnson, executive director of the Coalition; Joy Burgess, associate dean of nursing at Jersey College and a Healthy Start Coalition Board member; and many other health care professionals, the curriculum grew into a 28-hour clinical practicum.

“What’s interesting about this course is that the students can relate directly to what they will be learning,” Joy Burgess said. “Many of our nursing students are impacted by toxic stress and live in communities affected by limited resources and health disparities. I think that the scenario in the community-based clinical experience is going to get their attention and entice them to want to learn and pay attention.”

The community-based clinical experience is broken up into four sections:

  • Session I: Describes the life course perspective and the social determinants of health and applies those concepts to the practice of maternal child health nursing.
  • Session II: Describes the concepts of collective impact and nursing leadership and applies those concepts to a clinical scenario about a high-risk maternity client.
  • Session III: Describes the concept of toxic stress and unsafe client practices that warrant nursing education skills. Students will learn about safe sleep, breast feeding and mandated reporting.
  • Session IV: Allows the students to review the impact that racism, life course theory, social determinants of health and toxic stress have on racial disparities in birth outcomes and infant mortality in Northeast Florida. It will also help students better understand the role of Maternal Child Health nurses in promoting positive birth outcomes in childbearing families.

After looking at the statistics of infant mortality and the factors that play a huge role in it, the administration at Jersey College quickly supported this important community-academic partnership and the new community-based clinical experience.

“It is going to be a great experience for the students here and I cannot wait to see how they respond” Campus Administrator Maryanne Moore said.IMG_2486

“When Joy (Burgess) first talked me to about infant mortality, I said ‘no way!’ There was no way that many babies were dying in Duval County. But after meeting with Faye (Johnson) and many other players, I saw that it was a reality, and how important this experience is going to be for our students.”

The community-based clinical experience is set to be pilot from February through May 2017. Evaluation methods will be explored and implemented to determine the impact of this experience on student education at Jersey College and the role that nursing students can play to promote the health and wellbeing of child bearing families in Northeast Florida.


Open Position: Data Entry/Community Outreach Specialist

Feb 24, 2017  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  1 comment

The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition is accepting applications for a Data Entry/Community Outreach Specialist with the Magnolia Project.

The Data Entry/Community Outreach Specialist is primarily responsible for promoting women’s health and improved birth outcomes through public awareness and neighborhood outreach activities.

Resumes and cover letters should be e-mailed to resume@nefhsc.org.


At least 3 – 5 years professional experience working in the community or social services.

Experience working with diverse communities, organizations and agencies preferred.

Strong communication skills are required. Minimum high school graduate.


  •  Clinical services data entry
  •  Reschedule missed clinic appointments
  •  Must be non-judgmental when engaging/recruiting participants for project services
  •  Organizes outreach activities to promote participant awareness and/or recruitment into project services
  • Organized mini-health fairs at neighborhood sites
  • Participates in community outreach activities sponsored by other community agencies
  • Networks with community providers to promote/recruit eligible participants to project services
  • Develops a monthly calendar of outreach events
  • Update the Magnolia Project Referral Guide for distribution to project participants and community residents
  • Conducts formal presentations in the community on project services
  • Attends professional development trainings to maintain and enhance professional skills.
  • Attends internal and external meetings
  • Contributes to achievement of project objectives related to outreach
  • Perform all other duties as assigned by Project Director

Guest Post: Breastfeeding at the Magnolia Project

Jan 24, 2017  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

Mesha Demps is the Women’s intervention Specialist and a Certified Lactation Counselor at the Magnolia Project. One of Mesha’s primary roles at the Magnolia Project is to help assist and encourage mothers to breastfeed.

IMG_2152Breastfeeding is one of the best things that a mother can do for her baby. Here at The Magnolia Project we are dedicated by making sure that our mothers are informed about the advantages, benefits, and importance of breastfeeding.

The Magnolia Project has two Certified Lactation Counselors (CLCs), Mesha Demps and Odille Thomas, who provide support, counseling and education to the women of the Magnolia Project. The CLCs have been working endlessly to educate the women of Magnolia about breastfeeding and all of the benefits they can gain because of breastfeeding.IMG_2081

Breastfeeding can be very difficult for new mothers and mothers who have had a child before. The fastest drop-off rates occur in the first 10 days after hospital discharge. Mothers stop breastfeeding at different times for different reasons. Some of the reasons are lack of support at the onset of breastfeeding, not having enough milk, work/school, breast pain and because baby will not latch.IMG_2274

The CLCs provide support within the first 24 hours after birth to assess the process of breastfeeding with mom and new born baby.  In an effort to foster and ensure fidelity/duration of breastfeeding, mothers are educated about the benefits for self and baby thereby, improving the number of mothers who will breastfeed for at least 6 months.

Recently the CLCs of Magnolia had a breastfeeding photo shoot for new mothers who are breastfeeding and mothers who have breastfeed for longer than 6 months. At the photo shoot there were babies raging from two weeks old to one-year old. These mothers of Magnolia know the importance of breastfeeding and the bonding time that they receive with their babies while nursing. The CLCs wanted to applaud the mothers and continue to encourage them to keep up the great work.



In the spotlight: The Magnolia Project

  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

The Magnolia Project was featured in the Federal Division of Healthy Start and Prenatal Services (DHSPS) newsletter as the Healthy Start Grantee Spotlight organization. Read the article below:

This month DHSPS is spotlighting The Magnolia Project in Jacksonville, FL for their work to improve the health and well-being of women during their childbearing years by empowering communities to address medical, behavioral, and cultural and social service needs. Read below more information about The Magnolia Project:share-5

Prenatal care is a group effort now at the Magnolia Project, an initiative of the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition.  Pregnant women that receive care at the women’s health clinic in the Jacksonville urban core can now participate in a compassionate group setting, with the launch of new SHARE (Support Health Assessment Relationship Education) classes that combine medical care, peer support and education.

The group care model utilized materials and literature from Centering Pregnancy through a membership agreement.  Centering is a nationally recognized model that provides patient-centered care and results in positive health outcomes for moms and babies.

While too many babies are born too small and too soon in Northeast Florida and throughout the country, research has shown that group prenatal care can lead to better birth outcomes, including among low-income and African American populations. Studies show babies born to mom in group prenatal care had higher birth weights and longer gestations. Click on the link below to take you to The Magnolia Project article that was featured in the Florida Times Union paper: