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

Healthy Families Jacksonville joins the Coalition

Oct 5, 2016  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments


A Healthy Families home visitor meeting with a client

The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition has been awarded a subcontract with the Jacksonville Children’s Commission to administer implementation of the Healthy Families Jacksonville program effective October 1, 2016.

Healthy Families is a nationally-accredited family support and coaching program that helps parents provide the safe and stable environments children need for healthy growth and development. The evidence-based program is voluntarily and the participants receive the services in their home by specially-trained support workers.

With the Coalition’s focus on preventing infant mortality and Healthy Families focus on reducing child abuse, the merge allows the Coalition to serve pregnant women and babies up to five years old. Families are screened for both programs with the Healthy Start screen.

The Healthy Families program will serve families living in Duval county in targeted zip codes. Those zip codes include: 32202, 32204, 32205, 32206, 32207, 32208, 32209, 32210, 32211, 32216, 32217, 32218, 32219, 32220, 32221, 32225, 32226, 32233, 32244, 32246, 32250, 32254, 32256, 32257 and 32277.

To be eligible for the Healthy Families program, participants must be pregnant or have an infant less than three months of age; live in a targeted geographic service delivery area; score 13 or above on the Healthy Start screen.

The Coalition welcomes approximately 28 new staff members to the team and looks forward to continuing serving pregnant women, babies and families, to promote positive parent-child relationships and to ensure that every baby has a healthy start.

Guest Post: Duval County Nurse-Family Partnership breastfeeding initiative

Aug 17, 2016  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

Cyndia Estime is the Continuous Quality Improvement (QCI) Coordinator for the Nurse-Family Partnership at the Coalition. Cyndia wanted to find out the different type of support womeiStock_000000548251Small b&wn needed to to increase their duration of breastfeeding. Cyndia created a three-question survey, and yielded results which exceeded her set goal.

The Duval County Nurse-Family Partnership is a free, voluntary and evidence-based home visiting program for first-time moms. Each mother is partnered with a registered nurse early in pregnanc
y and receives home visits through the child’s second birthday.
In May 2014, our team joined the National Home Visiting Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (HV CoIIN), selecting a breastfeeding topic for improvement as our focus of work in the collaborative charter. The primary goal of the HV CoIIN is to improve rates of initiation
and duration of breastfeeding. Collaboratively, our specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) aim is 30 percent of children will be fed breastmilk exclusively until three months and 15 percent until six months. Activities of the collaborative network include learning sessions, webinars, conference/topic calls, emails and utilizing the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) model of improvement to test changes moving toward improvement.
This two-year collaborative learning effort results in the development of reliable, effective policies and practices that support families through critical windows for breastfeeding decision-making, which involve the provision of breastfeeding education at enrollment, 36 weeks gestation and ensuring mothers complete infant feeding plan prior to delivery. Our data shows 92 percent of pregnant women reported intention to breastfeed at enrollment and 100 percent at 36 weeks gestation. The data also shows 71 percent initiated breastfeeding at delivery.

To increase the duration of breastfeeding, we created a questionnaire. Eight women who are currently breastfeeding, at different lengths of time, participated in the questionnaire.

The questionnaire asked:
1. What is helping you to BF until now?
2. What do you think might stop you from breastfeeding in the next few weeks?
3. What support do you think might make it easier for you to continue breastfeeding?
We then analyzed the results and the clients’ needs were identified.

Their responses include:

1. Support from International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and
Nurse-Home Visitor
2. Support to pump regularly/having a better pump
3. Good family support and acceptance to breastfeed
4. Support to breastfeed for one year
5. How to stop baby from biting during feeding
6. Scheduling time for house chores and child care
7. Support to breastfeed as long as possible

We decided to give each client the necessary support in order to increase the duration of breastfeeding. At the end of this project, six mothers have breastfed for three months and two mothers have reached six months of breastfeeding.