National Public Health Week: Anna Matthews, Magnolia Project Case Manager

Apr 8, 2016  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

3535. NPHW webIn honor of National Public Health Week, please join us in celebrating all of our wonderful partners who work every day to improve our communities! The theme of NPHW this year is to become the Healthiest Nation in One Generation — by year 2030. 

Anna Matthews is a Case Manager with the Magnolia Project, a federal Healthy Start program and initiative of the Coalition. She shares in this guest post the role the Magnolia staff plays in building a healthy community in Northeast Florida!

CHWs2Four Magnolia Project employees recently received certification as Community Health Workers. A Certified Community Health Worker (CCHW) is defined as “an entry-level credential for front-line health workers who, by virtue of their trusted status in the community, serve as a liaison, link and intermediary between health services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.” The new certified staff are:

  • Anna Matthews, Case Manager
  • Patrice Alston, Office & Outreach Assistant
  • Nina Odom, Outreach Specialist
  • Cheryl Wright, Outreach Specialist

Anna MatthewsAs a Case Manager, having this certification provides another layer of services, resources, advocacy and information. Our number one priority at Magnolia is the heath of the women, and now babies, that enter our program. As a CCHW, we are able to expand access to healthcare services among the population we serve in four main areas:

  1. Coordination- Participants who work or attend classes during the work day, may need help with making appointments for annual exams, WIC Services or the Immunization Clinic. As a CCHW, we are in a position to coordinate a day and time that is convenient for the participant, which ensures a better chance that she will keep the appointment.
  2. Link – Participants often need access to other medical services in the community such as dental and mental health services, and have health and safety issues such as domestic violence and child abuse. We can link to the appropriate services, follow-up to ensure that link was made and that the participant is receiving services
  3. Intermediary- Between the participant and the service agency. Working with the agency or healthcare facility to make them aware of any special conditions or language barriers, and to help coordinate the delivery of services when needed.
  4. Advocacy – Assist participates in advocating for themselves and their healthcare needs.

Being a CCHW gives Case Managers more credibility, allows for expanded services and delivery and also reduces the barriers our participants face when trying to access healthcare for themselves and their families.

 

National Public Health Week: Sabrina Willis, Magnolia Project Freedom Coach

  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

3535. NPHW webIn honor of National Public Health Week, please join us in celebrating all of our wonderful partners who work every day to improve our communities! The theme of NPHW this year is to become the Healthiest Nation in One Generation — by year 2030. 

Sabrina Willis, MS, is the Freedom Coach for the Magnolia Project, a federal Healthy Start program and initiative of the Coalition. She shares in this guest post the role the Magnolia staff plays in building a healthy community in Northeast Florida!

My current role at the Magnolia Project as a Freedom Coach allows me to bring hope and encouragement to those that are living in environments where chronic stress is rampant and silently destroying relationships and the family units as a whole.

Sabrina2As a trained Mental Health Counselor I often use common therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) but I sought out to be trained in Life Stress Reduction (LSR) and Case Planning and Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR) because I appreciate how the two techniques enables individuals to explore topics, situations, and/or people that could be triggering their current behavior consciously or unconsciously.

Toxic Stress is chronic and ongoing stress without any buffers (like supportive relationships). Toxic Stress is often ignored because the events that contribute to the “wear and tear” on the brain and body are often viewed as “common events”.  Some examples of chronic and ongoing stress can include: not feeling loved, a drug addict in the family, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, a depressed parent, constant criticism from family or relatives, etc.

Individual mental health wellness benefits our whole society. However, the lack of mental wellness collectively compromises the overall health of family units and interpersonal relationships, which is at the core of human relationships.  Toxic Stress can change the architecture of a developing brain and the probability of poor outcomes increases, including making our families more vulnerable to many chronic conditions, from heart disease to diabetes, depression and addiction.

IMG_0138National Public Health Week is good opportunity to remind, encourage and support all to explore the experiences that provoke anxiety, fear, defeat, and self-doubt because within those experiences you might find the source of triggers that are negatively impacting your overall health — physically and emotionally.

I have had many opportunities to work with women in the communities where toxic stress is rampant and anxiety, fear, defeat and self-doubt is the norm.  However, those who are taking the risk to explore their negative experiences are also getting an opportunity to recognize “What I thought was helping me feel safe was actually stressing me out and now that I no longer have that thing I actually feel less stress — how crazy is that?”

First Coast Connect: Kids & The 2016 Legislative Session

Apr 7, 2016  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

Several local legislators joined host Melissa Ross on a special “On The Go!” edition of First Coast Connect April 5th to discuss the 2016 legislative session and children’s issues. The roundtable, an extension of the annual Jacksonville Kids Advocacy Workshop, was held at the Jessie Ball duPont Center.

This roundtable was hosted by the Healthy Start Coalition, Jacksonville Children’s Commission, Jacksonville Public Education Fund, Nonprofit Center of Northeast FloridaUnited Way of Northeast Florida and WJCT.

IMG_0412[1]Sen. Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville), Rep. Charles McBurney (R-Jacksonville) and Rep. Mia Jones (D-Jacksonville) discussed wins, losses and important topics related to kids.

Listen to the broadcast here!

After the legislative recap, Jessie Ball duPont Fund President Dr. Sherry Magill discussed their organization’s work in transforming the building, while Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida President Rena Coughlin talked about the results of their new survey covering benefits and compensation in this area’s nonprofit community.

 

Nurse-Family Partnership Spring 2016 Fashion Show

  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

IMG_0215[1]The Duval County Nurse-Family Partnership program held their Spring 2016 Fashion Show on Saturday, April 2. Participants showed off their favorite spring wear as they walked the runway!

The Nurse-Family Partnership program launched in 2012 as part of the Florida Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. The program, which is integrated into the local Healthy Start program through the Florida Department of Health Duval County and UF Health Jacksonville, provides intensive case management and home visiting by a nurse for first-time moms from pregnancy until the baby is two. The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition administers the program.

Check out the pictures!

National Public Health Week: Alicyn Mulder, Baptist Health Social Responsibility Department

  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

3535. NPHW webIn honor of National Public Health Week, please join us in celebrating all of our wonderful partners who work every day to improve our communities! The theme of NPHW this year is to become the Healthiest Nation in One Generation — by year 2030. 

Alicyn Mulder serves at Baptist Health in the Social Responsibility Department as a member of the National Health Corps Florida, an AmeriCorps program that meets local healthcare needs and develops public health professionals. She shares in this guest post the role her organization plays in building a healthy community in Northeast Florida!

Building a Healthier Community through “8 Weeks to Healthy Living”

IMG_1051As part of our commitment to building a healthy community, Baptist Health’s Social Responsibility Department  is partnering with local faith-based and community organizations to offer “8 Weeks to Healthy Living,” a nutrition and physical activity program that provides participants with eight two-hour sessions each week with a registered dietitian and an exercise specialist. Participants are split into teams and assigned homework assignments each week, like exercising together with their team and modifying their own recipes with healthy substitutions. They also weigh in every week, and health screenings are conducted at the beginning and end of the program to see how their biometrics has changed since adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Of the 67 counties in Florida, Duval County is ranked 45th in overall health outcomes by the Florida Department of Health and has higher-than-average death rates for both diabetes and heart disease, as well as a higher-than-average number of residents considered to be obese or physically inactive.

IMG_1054However, the “8 Weeks to Healthy Living” initiative is starting to make a difference in the organizations where it is being offered. The program debuted with Philippian Community Church in April 2015. Most recently, Northside Church of Christ completed the program and at the end of the eight weeks, showed the following improvements:

  • 96% of participants had a normal glucose level
  • 83% of participants decreased their BMI
  • 46% of participants decreased their total cholesterol by an average of 36 points
  • 83% of participants had a normal level of HDL (“Good Cholesterol”)
  • 91% of participants said they are more active after completing the program
  • 95% of participants felt that changing their eating habits and increasing their physical activity improved their stress management.
  • 83% of participants who completed the program lost weight
  • As a group, they lost 155.4 pounds

IMG_1072Alicyn Mulder is leading this initiative by coordinating and implementing “8 Weeks to Healthy Living” at various faith-based and community organizations in Northeast Florida. This involves recruiting organizations to participate in the program; facilitating participant sign-ups; contracting a Registered Dietician and licensed Exercise Specialist for the program; and facilitating each meeting by providing lesson materials and conducting weekly weigh ins. Over the course of the program, Alicyn records statistics and trends to create a biometric report at the end of the program that shows how the health of participants has improved, as well as motivate and encourage participants each week.

Several more “8 Weeks to Health Living” programs are underway in Duval County. Although current groups have not completed the program yet, participants are already seeing changes due to exercising and changing their eating habits. Abyssinia Missionary Baptist Church is approaching week eight of the program, and one of their oldest participants has already lost 22 pounds. This participant is also getting his family involved by encouraging them to take walks with him after dinner. Through “8 Weeks to Healthy Living,” Baptist Health is helping to create a healthier community in Northeast Florida.