“What’s Happening and What’s Next for Kids” was the theme of a legislative breakfast briefing held in Jacksonville April 27 by The Children’s Campaign. Campaign founder and president Roy Miller provided an update on legislative budget issues impacting children and challenged the 100 attendees to hold lawmakers accountable for proposed cuts in prevention, juvenile justice and education programs. State House and Senate conference committees begin meeting this week to finalize the 2011-2012 budget.
The non-partisan advocacy group focuses on an agenda of 5 Promises to Children. Promise 1 highlights maternal and child health care needs in the state, including Healthy Start, KidCare and access to prenatal care.
Coalition members Karen Wolfson, Joy Burgess and Jeff Goldhagen, and staff participated in the meeting. The briefing was sponsored by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, the Community Foundation and the Chartrand Foundation.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released their annual County Health Rankings and Northeast Florida’s counties continue to show great disparities.
The rankings — which were developed for all the counties in the nation by the RWJF and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute — are based on a model of population health that emphasizes that many factors contribute to the health of a community.
Here is how Northeast Florida fared compared to the rest of the state:
Baker: 62 of 67 counties in Health Outcomes, 50 of 67 in Health Factors
- Positives: Higher HS graduation rate than the state, low violent crime rate
- Negatives: High rates of premature death, smoking, obesity, teen births, preventable hospital stays and motor vehicle deaths; less access to healthy foods
Clay: 6 of 67 counties in Health Outcomes, 15 of 67 in Health Factors
- Positives: High HS graduation rate and college attendance, lower rate of children in poverty
- Negatives: High rates of smoking and obesity
Duval: 46 of 67 counties in Health Outcomes, 28 of 67 in Health Factors
- Positives: Access to primary care providers, healthy foods
- Negatives: High incidence of low birth weight babies, low HS graduation rate, high rates of teen births, violent crimes and premature deaths
Nassau: 31 of 67 counties in Health Outcomes, 21 of 67 in Health Factors
- Positives: Higher HS graduation rate than the state, lower incidence of low birth weight babies
- Negatives: High rates of obesity, teen births, violent crimes and premature deaths
St. Johns: 3 of 67 counties in Health Outcomes, 1 of 67 in Health Factors
- Positives: Lower incidence of premature death and low birth weight babies, high HS graduation rate and college attendance
- Negatives: High rate of excessive drinking, less access to healthy foods
How did your county do?
The Coalition had the pleasure of hearing a presentation from Dr. Mark Hudak, a neonatologist and the lead location investigator for the National Children’s Study in Baker County, at the April meeting.
Baker County is one of three Florida counties participating in the national project, which will include 105 counties nationwide. It is the only rural county to participate in Florida; the other counties are Hillsborough and Miami-Dade.
Over the next four years, the Study will recruit approximately 200 mothers and newborn babies in order to compile information about the growth, health and development and environment of Baker County children from birth to age 21. The participants in Baker County will be part of 100,000 children studied in total throughout the country.
The Study aims to look at the causes and precursors of diseases like asthma, autism, diabetes and obesity.
The Study is a collaboration between the University of Miami, the University of Florida, and the University of South Florida; the Baker County Health Department; Battelle Memorial Institute; other civic, community, and faith-based organizations in Baker County; and a community advisory group.
For more information, call 1-888-506-8499.
The E3 Business Group is offering a new community-based youth development program for adolescents between the ages of 11 and 16. The Youth Achievement in Technology (YAT) program has four available sessions, from June to August, and includes:
- Activities to help identify their interests and skills
- Individual and group projects to build social and leadership skills
- Introduction to a wide variety of career choices and entrepreneurial optionsHealth and nutrition education and wellness activities with certified personal trainers
- Opportunity to meet and interact with athletes, celebrities, and community leaders
Meals are provided and after care is optional. The sessions are daily from 8am – 4pm and include a fitness component facilitated by DEEN Wellness Center.
Register online at the E3 Business Group Web site or visit DEEN Wellness Center (inside AbzSolute Fitness @ Gateway), 5290-4 Norwood Ave, Jacksonville FL 32218.
Session I—Mon—Fri; June 6 thru June 17, 2011; Registration—$150 (E3 Rate $125)
Session II—Mon—Fri; June 20 thru July 1, 2011; Registration—$150 (E3 Rate $125)
Session III—Mon—Fri; July 11 thru July 22, 2011; Registration—$150 (E3 Rate $125)
Session IV—Mon—Fri; July 25 thru August 5, 2011; Registration—$150 (E3 Rate $125)
The Department of Children and Families — Circuit 4 invites you to participate in an Educational Summit, “Everybody’s a Teacher: Improving Education for Children in Foster Care.”
The event will take place Friday, April 29, 2011 from 9am to 12pm at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church, Haut Hall, 1649 Kingsley Ave. Orange Park, Florida 32073.
Please RSVP via email to Summer Saladino, Summer_Saladino@dcf.state.fl.us, by April 22nd.