Feed the Children 2016

Oct 31, 2016  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

img_1856Hundreds of families affected by Hurricane Matthew received food and personal hygiene items as part of a partnership between the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition, Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry (BEAM) and Feed the Children on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016.

Fimg_1870eed the Children provides nourishing meals every day to more than 263,000 children around the world. Items that the families received included: nonperishable foods; fresh fruits and vegetables; razors; hand soap and sanitizer; batteries; and flashlights.

Thank you to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church for hosting the event, BEAM for assisting with coordination and the many volunteers who dedicated their time and working hands to give back to the community.

FIMR Report: Sleep-related deaths, substance abuse and preconception health impact infant deaths

Oct 26, 2016  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

shutterstock_68501338Although the infant and fetal mortality rates declined in Northeast Florida in 2015, a review of the deaths in the region found that too many of our babies die from preventable causes like bedsharing, parental/caregiver substance use and being born too small and too soon. These findings and more from the 2015-2016 Fetal and Infant Mortality Review process were released at the October 20 Coalition community meeting.

Click here for the full presentation on the FIMR results. Also released was the 2015-16 Project IMPACT report, which looks at the status of maternal and child health in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties.

FIMR’s Case Review Team (CRT) reviewed 28 cases in 2015-16 utilizing an approach developed by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) that pulls information from birth, death, medical, hospital and autopsy records and maternal interviews.

For the first time in eight years, the team reviewed sleep-related deaths. Of the nine abstracted deaths (of 26 total sleep-related deaths in the region), the majority took place at home, while the baby slept with others, in an unsafe sleep location, on soft bedding and with unsafe items in the bed.

A mother’s health prior to pregnancy continued to have a major impact on birth outcomes. Unmanaged medical conditions and high BMIs can lead to maternal complications and prematurity. Substance use before, during and after pregnancy also impacts preconception health; can lead to fetal deaths and babies born with withdrawal issues; and is a factor in a number of sleep-related deaths.

Based on the infant mortality statistics and the FIMR cases, the Case Review Team developed the following recommendations:

  1. Safe sleep education will continued to be a recommendation. More specifically, a Public Service Announcement to include information about bedding, bedsharing and additional teaching regarding skin-to-skin contact while “alert and awake.” We will collaborate with a number of local agencies who partake in the Child Abuse Death Review team.
  2. Address late entry or second trimester entry into care. Referral time for women on Medicaid from the assinged medical home to the obstetrician is causing women to enter into prenatal care late. Work with the four managed care organizations in the region to smooth this transition and avoid causing late entry to OB while the pregnant woman waits for a referral from her medical home, whom she may never visited before.
  3. Centralized location for all obstetrician-related activities in Northeast Florida. Possibly Facebook, but a website is preferred. Links to classes, connections to resources, fast facts, service announcements.

Make a Difference! Leadership Academy: Why eat healthy?

Oct 19, 2016  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

While healthy eating is vital to an overall healthy life, the challenge many people face is knowing where to purchase healthier eating options. The Make a Difference! Leadership Academy Fall 2015 graduating class  created a year-long plan to inform different communities about the benefits and where to find healthier eating choices.screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-2-45-31-pm

The Leadership Academy is a 16-week course, that trains grassroots leaders to make an impact in their communities. The goal of the Leadership Academy is to inspire everyone in the community to make better decisions when it comes to health.

There are two cohorts of the Leadership Academy per year. After graduating from the course, each year members chooses a community project to work on collaboratively. The Leadership Academy fall 2015 members chose to focus their efforts on helping individuals and families who receive SNAP/EBT understand the benefits of eating healthier. The members also wanted to inform the community of the local farmer’s markets and produce stands that accept SNAP/EBT benefits.

The members created and distributed posters and information cards that outlined the benefits of eating healthy and list different locations that accept SNAP/EBT benefits. The posters were given to members at each site, to be given to clients and participants. These locations include: The Magnolia Project, Jacksonville Housing Authority, the local libraries, Clara White Mission Center, United Healthcare and UF Health Jacksonville.

To learn more about the Leadership Academy and how you can become a leader, contact 904-723-5422


Breastfeeding: An extra soldier to fight breast cancer

Oct 18, 2016  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

image-1Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer women suffer from and according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 1:8 women are affected by some form of breast cancer. Research has proven that breastfeeding is one of many methods that can be use to reduce a women’s risk of breast cancer.  Breast cancer is a fight that many women are continuing to battle, and with new research and continued education, more women are winning the fight against breast cancer and continuing to live healthy lives.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers many different ways women can reduce their risk of breast cancer. Keeping a healthy weight, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol intake and getting more sleep at nighttime are amongst the ways women can reduce their risk of breast cancer. Another option that can reduce a women’s risk of breast cancer is by breastfeeding. The CDC recommends all women breastfeed, if possible.

Breast milk is the best milk, not only for baby but for mom as well. For baby, breast milk reduces risk of childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome and respiratory tract infection. For mom, producing breast milk reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, according to the CDC.

For more information about breastfeeding and to find support, visit the Coalition’s breastfeeding page. #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth

Addressing toxic stress

Oct 10, 2016  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments


Sabrina Willis giving a presentation at the Healthy Start Epic Conference

The Magnolia Project is offering free presentations to local businesses, churches and organizations that would like to learn more about the life course, social determinant of health and toxic stress.  These presentations can be scheduled by contacting Sabrina Willis who is the freedom coach at the Magnolia Project.

Learning to adjust to adversity is an important part of healthy child development, according to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. There are three types of stress that impact the development of a child’s brain: positive stress, tolerable stress and toxic stress. These three types of stress refer to the stress response system’s effect on the body.

  • Positive stress is a normal part of healthy development and part of every child’s life. Examples of positive stress are a child’s first day of school, playing in a big game or giving a speech to a large audience. These are stresses that, once they are overcome, allow the child to feel relieved to have endured the stressful experience.
  • Tolerable stress relates to a greater degree of the brain’s development due to the more severe and longer-lasting difficulties such as an injury, losing a loved one or natural disasters. Buffering tolerable stresses with healthy relationships and positive support that can help the child adapt to the changes allows the brain and other organs to recover from what could have been damaging effects.
  • Toxic stress, which has the largest impact on brain development, is when a child experiences frequent adversity such as abuse, racism, neglect, socio economic hardship or having an alcoholic or depressed parent. Toxic stress can have long lasting impacts on a persons physical and mental health, causing chronic pulmonary lung disease, hepatitis, depression, suicide and preterm births.

The Magnolia Project is on a mission to negate the negative effects of toxic stress by educating the community and offering programs like “Yoga in the Streets” to individuals living in Health Zone One. The goal of “Yoga in the Streets” is to reduce hypertension and improve the mood in the communities where on-going stress is rampant.

Sabrina Willis is a strong advocate of using “Yoga in the Streets” as a means of reducing toxic stress in many Duval communities. Sabrina recently gave a presentation on the social determinants of health, life course and toxic stress at the Healthy Start EPIC Conference in Washington, D.C.

To schedule a toxic stress presentation contact Sabrina Willis: 904.353.2130 x1021 swillis@nefhsc.org