Father’s Day Photo Contest Winner

Jun 23, 2015  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

Congratulations to the winner of our Father’s Day Photo Contest, Cathy Dupont! Cathy shared this picture of father and son, Nicholas Sr. and Jr.:

Fathers Day Photo Cathy Dupont son and father2
Thank you to everyone who submitted photos! Fathers and father figures play an important role in their children’s lives. So we loved seeing all the great pictures of dads and we encourage you to celebrate dads EVERY day!


Guest Post: Advocating for men as a future medical provider

Jun 5, 2015  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

Alex Fatherhood2This blog post was written by AmeriCorps member Alex Tarabochia.

Alex is a member of the 2014-2015 North Florida Health Corps and is currently serving a 10 1/2 month term at the Magnolia Project, an initiative of the Healthy Start Coalition.

Serving as the North Florida Health Corps AmeriCorps member/Male Responsibility Case Manager at the Magnolia Project is an incredibly eye-opening experience. It is showing me how systems both support and take away from the family structure, the barriers to healthcare men face, and the importance of having a holistic approach to health as a future healthcare provider.

My daily service entails several key tasks, including and not limited to identifying useful resources in the community and compiling a resource guide, providing male case management services, and distributing appropriate resource referrals to men in the community. To date, I have identified more than 100 community resources, provided extensive case management services to 19 men, and offered Magnolia services and/or resource referrals to an additional 57 men and counting. This experience helps me see the setbacks men face and the role that I have as a future healthcare provider to help solve this problem.

Men are challenged by flawed policies and a general lack of support from the society that surrounds them. Licenses are revoked and paychecks are seized because of backed child support, which only perpetuate the transportation and economic problems they face. Two parent homes often do not qualify for government subsidized housing because of past criminal records, which further compromises the stability of the home and the successful rearing of children.

Families looking for shelter face the choice to stay on the street or go to facilities that house the men and women/children separately. And men who need health coverage typically do not qualify for Medicaid, regardless of income level or ability to pay. These setbacks push me to help men problem solve and tackle a myriad of challenges. For example, I recently assisted a homeless client find transitional housing and then his own apartment. This has given him the stability necessary to file for joint custody and be a part of his son’s life. Helping clients navigate such setbacks is critical to supporting father involvement and reducing the many health challenges that men and their families face.

As a future physician, this experience is pushing me to think about care on a very holistic level. I see the importance of identifying health barriers men face and being able to point them toward solutions. This requires being knowledgeable of and sharing employment resources available in the community with patients who are unemployed and unable to pay for their medication; being patient with those who miss appointments because the bus is late or they cannot come up with the bus fare; and understanding that unhealthy choices are often paired with everyday stressors such as paying rent, affording groceries and providing for others.

In addition to offering patient care, I realize that I need offer the words of encouragement and support that will help patients step toward the unknown and embrace change. I am grateful for this experience, as it shows me a firsthand account of the problems men face and a chance to identify solutions.

Father’s Day Photo Contest!

Jun 2, 2015  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

iStock_000007275271MediumIn honor of June, which is Men’s Health Month and also the time we celebrate Father’s Day, the Coalition is holding a Father’s Day Photo Contest!

  • Who: Open to Northeast Florida residents (Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties)
  • What: Post a photo of you and your dad or father figure; of your and your kids if you are a father or father figure; or a photo of your children with their father or father figure if you are a mother. To enter, tag the Coalition in your photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #jaxdads2015. Please make sure photos are public before entering.
  • When: The winner will be chosen on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21st. The winning photo will be based on which one has the highest engagement – the most likes, shares, retweets, favorites, etc.
  • Prize: The winning photo will be our cover photo for the remainder of the month. The winner will also receive a prize pack.

Fathers play a critical role in children’s lives, so we look forward to seeing all your photos!

Healthy Start partners with school district, foundations to promote early learning

Mar 3, 2015  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  1 comment

988891_925605424128051_2117614292118537984_nThousands of the highest-risk babies in the Duval County Healthy Start program will get a head start on learning as part of a new initiative, Happy Birthday, Graduate!

The early learning initiative aims to shrink the word, school readiness and educational attainment gaps in Jacksonville’s Health Zone 1 by providing families with materials to encourage early literacy and language, social and emotional motor development and  family engagement. Healthy Start care coordinators will distribute resource kits during home visits to 5,000 families.

Happy Birthday, Graduate! is funded by the Chartrand Family Fund at the Community Foundation for Jacksonville, with matches from the Duval County Public Schools (DCPS), Baptist Health, the Jaguars Foundation and Winn-Dixie. The resource packets include:

The initiative was announced on March 2 — the National Read Across America Day and the birthday of beloved children’s book author Dr. Seuss.

Fathers steal the show in the 2015 Super Bowl

Feb 2, 2015  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

In a duel between Tom Brady’s New England Patriots and Russell Wilson’s Seattle Seahawks, the real star of the 2015 Super Bowl was Dads.

Fatherhood emerged as a theme among the numerous comical and poignant Super Bowl commercials, which are their own spectacle in the annual football championship. Several brands aired commercials that focused on dads as loving, caring, integral parts of a family.

Research shows that a father’s presence helps children build confidence, self-esteem, assertiveness and their voice. His presence also aids scholastic achievement, protects against drug experimentation and teen pregnancy, and positions children to become productive citizens. The Coalition works with dads to help them understand their role as a father as well as their role in their children’s’ lives. These are key factors to early involvement and a sustainable positive relationship between father and child.

Check out the commercials:

Dove Men+Care #RealStrength

Toyota Camry’s #OneBoldChoice

Extended cut:

Nissan #WithDad