The main message of Baptist Health’s ongoing support groups for new mothers experiencing mood issues: You are NOT along, its NOT your fault and with help, you CAN get better.
Their free posptartum support groups are held at Destination Maternity at the St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville. For more information, call 904.202.2229 or visit http://www.baptistjax.com/classes. The classes have no cost but registration is required for attendance.
The groups are for mothers who are feeling anxious, depressed or just want support during pregnancy or their first year postpartum. They are facilitated by staff with advanced training in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders from Postpartum Support International.
The group is open to women only. Babies in arms are welcome, but not child care is provided.
The annual 2014 Advocacy Training linked staff from child-serving organizations with local experts to help prepare them for the upcoming 2014 legislative season. This year’s training, held January 29 at Jacksonville University, featured several new additions, including beginner and advanced tracks and a special training that introduced to teens the basics of advocacy.
Summer Pfeiffer, Vice President of Governmental Relations at Children’s Home Society of Florida, started the day off with a session on Tools for Advocacy. She covered a variety of topics, such as what to expect in Tallahassee and Jacksonville this year, strategic communications and developing an advocacy agenda/platform.
Over 50 participants had the choice to pick between a beginner track facilitated by Coalition Board Chair Dr. Stephen Baker, JU, and an advanced track led by Jason Roth, Director of Public Policy at the United Way of Northeast Florida. The two groups came back together at the end of this session and gave a lively update on what they learned, including a skit on the best ways to approach a busy legislator.
The training also included a panel discussion with local leaders. Angela Spears, Mayors Office, moderated the panel, which included local media personality Kent Justice of News4Jax; Deborah Gianoulis, Executive Director of the Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership; and State Senator Aaron Bean. The panel covered a variety of topics and answered questions from participants on topics like utilizing your board, the effectiveness of press releases and getting to know your legislators and their staff.
Megan Folds, theYouth Programs Director at Leadership Jacksonville, facilitated a successful afternoon session specifically geared to teens. She addressed different aspects of advocacy and the role teens can take in advocacy efforts. More than 30 teens from several adolescent-serving organizations participated in the session.
The end of the training concluded with a “Continuing the Conversation” networking opportunity with coffee, tea and cookies. Attendees used this time to engage with other agency representatives and discussed what was learned and how best to advocate on behalf of children.
The training was presented by the Healthy Start Coalition, Jacksonville Kids Coalition, United Way of Northeast Florida, Partnership for Child Health and Mental Health America, with partnership from the Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute.
The NEFL Teen Pregnancy Task Force reconvened for the first time in almost two years on January 30 to review their community action plan, develop priority areas for moving forward and review the progress of agencies implementing strategies, including those participating in a mini-grant program.
In November 2011, the NEFL Teen Pregnancy Task Force released “Preventing Teen Pregnancy in Northeast Florida: A Plan for Community Action” after a year of monthly meetings, reviewing best practices and selecting strategies. Since then, progress has been made in the teen birth and STI rates and organizations throughout the region have been implementing strategies, including eight agencies awarded competitive mini-grants from the Coalition.
The Coalition funded qualified providers in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties to implement specific strategies outlined in the action plan. The grants were funded through a partnership with the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation and Florida Blue. The foundations each provided $50,000 to the Coalition for these efforts. The first year of grants runs from April 2013-March 2014. An RFP for Year 2 of funding will be released this Spring. 2013-2014 grantees:
- APEL Health Services – $8,000 – “Project YouthLink Expansion,” Improving Access to Adolescent Health Care
- Baker County Health Department – $10,000 – “Parent Perspectives in Baker County,” Engaging Parents
- The Bridge of Northeast Florida – $15,000 – Healthy Choices,” Community-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention
- Girls Incorporated of Jacksonville – $16,000 – “Straight Talk – Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy,” Community-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention
- Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida/Second Harvest Food Bank – $20,000 – “Health Begins Before Birth,” Repeat Teen Pregnancies
- Nassau County Health Department – $7,000 – “Rural Teen Health Initiative,” Access to Care
- PACE Center for Girls, Jacksonville – $15,000 – “Straight Talk Health Clinic,” Improving Access to Adolescent Health Care
- Stork’s Nest of Jacksonville – $4,000 – “Stork’s Nest Program,” Repeat Teen Pregnancies
- Women’s Center of Jacksonville – $5,000 – “Let’s Talk,” Engaging Parents
Priority areas and areas of interest for moving forward that were identified at the January meeting include: incarcerated youth, racial and gender diversity in sex education, prioritizing teens in the Healthy Start program, reaching parents and convening national and local experts in teen pregnancy prevention.
The Task Force will now meet three times per year to review progress.
The Coalition welcomed new Board and Coalition members at the January 16 Annual Membership meeting.
New 2014 member of the Board of Directors:
- Dr. Kelli Wells, Florida Department of Health in Duval County (Public Health representative)
New 2014 members of the Coalition:
- Crystal Brown: Director of Behavioral Services at River Region, in Baker County
- Kennetha Julien: Lawyer with Julien & Hope Law, LLCin St. Johns County
- Leslie Allen: A Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the area of Infant Mental Health in Duval County
- Ranaldo Allen: A past ImpactJax Chair and Owner of Assemblyman Corp. in Duval
- April Shackelford: Specialist for the Parent Academy and Duval County Teacher of the year in 2012-2013
- Cynthia Dennis: Coordinator for Safe Kids Northeast Florida, a local coalition of Safe Kids Worldwide, and a part of the PLAYERS Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children’s Hospital
The members of the Board and Coalition vow to carry out the organization’s mission to lead a cooperative community effort to reduce infant mortality and improve the health of children, childbearing women and their families in Northeast Florida.
The Coalition is comprised of more than 40 members representing consumers, physicians, local government, business, health care payors, social services, education, civic organizations, public health, nurses, local medical societies, mental health, hospitals, local health planning agencies and midwifery in the five-county area. The 19-member governing board directs Coalition efforts. Standing committees conduct the organization’s activities.
Johnnie Dwayne Upson, center, with his family, Coalition staff Jack Johnson (far left) and Board member Joy Burgess (far right)
The 2014 Dorothy Wilson Mabry Award in Recognition of Outstanding Accomplishments by a Healthy Start Participant or Grass-Roots Community Leader was presented at the January Coalition meeting to Johnnie Dwayne (J.D.) Upson, a leader in the Barbers for Babies initiative and advocate for reducing infant mortality.
J.D. has been a barber in his native Jacksonville for 14 years at The Cut Above Barber Shop in Arlington. He was recruited by a client — Coalition Responsible Fatherhood Coordinator Jack Johnson — to participate in the Barbers for Babies program. He talks to his clients about infant mortality, racial disparities and fatherhood, and has held several community events along with other barbers.
The award honors the legacy of Dorothy Wilson Mabry, a community volunteer and advocate, who devoted her life to supporting the empowerment and achievement of young women and vulnerable families. The Wilson Family provided a generous donation in honor of their mother which supports a stipend for the award recipient.