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

2014 Holiday Wishlist

Nov 25, 2014  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  2 comments

shutterstock_167384207The Healthy Start Coalition is collecting new, donated items for program participants this holiday season. Please consider making a monetary contribution or donating needed items to the Coalition to make sure families in Northeast Florida are healthy and every baby has a healthy start.

Contact Sara Rieger at 904.723.5422 x124 or for information on how to donate.

Items Needed:

  • Gift cards to Publix, Winn Dixie, CVS, Walgreens or Walmart
  • JTA bus passes
  • Gas cards
  • Personal hygiene items: shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, soap, etc.
  • Household products: cleaning supplies, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.
  • Items to reduce stress: candles, small journals and pens, small inspirational/meditation books, stress balls, etc.
  • Diapers
  • Car seats- new
  • Pack N Plays- new

These items will encourage participants to attend classes and groups offered by the Coalition, such as:

  • The Magnolia Project’s smoking cessation, stress relief, healthy living, STD prevention, pregnancy prevention, safe sleep and life course classes.
  • 4Me Teen Health Project classes for teens about sexuality, healthy relationships, STD prevention and pregnancy prevention.
  • Responsible Fatherhood classes, which teach men about the important role fathers play in a family and how to be a dad.

Cover Jacksonville initiative seeks to link uninsured youth with affordable health insurance

Oct 29, 2014  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

coverjaxBoth Florida and the city of Jacksonville have some of the highest rates of uninsured kids in the nation, even though many may be eligible for low-cost health insurance. A new initiative was launched to increase the capacity of the community to link those kids with the state children’s health insurance program.

Jacksonville was selected by the National League of Cities to help reduce the number of uninsured kids in the city — estimated to be about 16,000. The City of Jacksonville and Jacksonville Children’s Commission are leading the effort in conjunction with numerous community partners.

Florida KidCare is available for uninsured youth up to age 19 whose families make up to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty level, approximately $45,000 for a family of four. Most families pay $15 or $20 a month, while some do not pay at all.

Enrollment is year-round. Coverage is comprehensive and includes dental and vision.

For assistance with applying, families can call 2-1-1 to talk to a Cover Jacksonville operator.

Magnolia expands services for men

Oct 22, 2014  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

The Magnolia Project is expanding services for men, aligning it with the Coalition and federal Healthy Start goals of strengthening families by increasing responsible fatherhood and male responsibility in the project’s target area

Magnolia, the Coalition’s federal Healthy Start initiative, is a community-based health clinic and case management mdoel that aims improve the health and well-being of women during their childbearing years by empowering communities to address medical, behavioral, and cultural and social service needs. While the Coalition has provided fatherhood classes and trainings throughout the region for several years, Magnolia first implemented 24/7 Dad classes through the Responsible Fatherhood initiative in 2013.

A Magnolia for Men course is now running in conjunction with the Mothers & Babies Course until November 20. The classes are an opportunity for participants to discuss topics like masculinity, understanding yourself, family roles, balancing work and family, getting involved with your children and more. The goal of the course is to actively engage the men in more of a round table discussion about fatherhood, the role of men in families & society, important health topics, etc.

The classes are Thursdays from 10am-12pm at the Karpeles Manuscript Library, 101 W. 1st St., Jacksonville.

Beginning next month, the Project will also launch a case management component for men to strengthen the coordination of health services for male partners of the women enrolled in the Magnolia Project. Through these services, male partners will receive health screenings services and other services like STD, HIV, hypertension, transportation, housing, legal, education, financial and public benefits.

For more information on Magnolia’s male services, contact Alex Tarabochia at or 904.353.2130 x 1015.