Open Position: Program Assistant

Jan 31, 2017  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition is accepting applications for a Program Assistnat for the Responsible Fatherhood program.

Resumes and cover letters should be e-mailed to

Objectives: Assist program staff with day-to-day operations of program activities.  Develop positive working relationships with all staff, clients, building occupants and report any concerns or problems to program coordinator immediately


  • High school diploma/GED required
  • Minimum 1 year of clerical experience (Associate degree acceptable alternative)
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, ability to establish


  • Provide case managers and administrative staff with program support (e.g. filing, e-mailing and data entry)
  • Enter program and member data into federal and program systems; ensure HIPPA compliance for all inputted records
  • Meet and greet all visitors entering the building.
  • Answer telephone with appropriate greeting and route all calls to the appropriate staff person
  • Relay client concerns to the appropriate staff
  • Review, organize, and distribute all mail, packages, and work related documents according to established security policies
  • Schedule and organize appointments for program members and staff
  • Work with case managers to maintain and secure program members file
  • Review and maintain scheduled use of the building’s large conference room, two small conference rooms, standing meeting room, kitchen, and storage area
  • Ensure program computers and other IT devises are maintained and up to date with current software
  • Maintain inventory, and resupply any office and cleaning supplies as needed
  • Attend all scheduled staff meetings, and designated trainings
  • Maintain general knowledge and understanding of the fatherhood program, and the Coalition’s protocols, policies, and employee handbook
  • Assist with other general administrative and support duties, as requested

Open Position: Family Support Worker

  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition is accepting applications for a Family Support Worker (FSW) for the Healthy Families Jacksonville program.

The FSW is primarily responsible for initiating and maintaining regular contact with families in their home and providing referrals to other needed support services. The FSW also establishes rapport with the family to thereby strengthen the parent-child relationship, develops a service plan to guide service delivery, identifies goals and plans activities based on required curriculum, assists parents in improving parenting skill, aids in planning and attending medical appointments, and conducts sufficient home visitations.

Resumes and cover letters should be e-mailed to

Objectives: To provide case management services to clients who are eligible for assistance through Healthy Families Jacksonville.


  • High School diploma and one (1) year experience working with diverse families and children.
  • Must possess a valid Florida driver’s license.
  • Must have reliable transportation and proof of current auto insurance coverage.
  • Ability to pass all drug and criminal background screens
  • Must possess reliable transportation.


  • Interview participants for entrance into the Healthy Families Program and complete appropriate paperwork.
  • Develop a service plan with direct-line supervisor to guide service delivery and establish family goals.
  • Assist parents in improving their skills to optimize the home environment.
  • Aid in making and attending health care appointments, as well as other agency visits in the community.
  • Initiate and maintain regular contact with families, primarily in their home, establishing a trusting relationship and strengthening the parent-child relationship.
  • Assess the health and human services needs of participants, and develop, with the participant, a service to address those needs.  Follow up routinely with participants.  Home visits with the participant are required.
  • Provide or coordinate services to address the needs of participants, including, but not limited to; financial counseling, child care, domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health, educational services, health care, transportation, emergency services, etc.

Open Position: Case Manager

  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition is accepting applications for a case manager position with the Magnolia Project.

The Magnolia Case Manager will function as an integral part of the preconception and inter-connectional case management team integrating poor birth outcomes prevention and intervention activities to support childbearing women ages 15-44.

Resumes and cover letters should be e-mailed to

Objectives: To provide case management services to clients who are eligible for assistance through the Magnolia Project.

Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in the field of maternal child health or social science preferred. Will substitute 5 years professional experience in direct service, social services, mental health, maternal and child heal or related field.

  • Knowledge of community resources and counseling/social work practices with high risk populations
  • Experience working with persons in crisis.
  • Good documentation skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, ability to establish rapport.
  • To motivate others towards achieving goals.
  • Ability to work independently with strong sense of focus, task oriented, non judgmental, open person qualities, clear sense of boundaries.
  • A strong sense of and respect for confidentiality involving both clients and fellow employees.
  • Ability to work in a variety of settings with culturally-diverse families and communities with the ability to be culturally sensitive and appropriate.
  • Ability to legally operate a motor vehicle and provide own transportation.


1) Coordinate pre-conceptional and inter-conceptional services high risk women.
2) Provide psychosocial counseling and support as needed.
3) Utilize selected standardized curriculum and intervention and document activities.
4) Assess pre-conceptional risk and develop specific risk reduction goals/activities and link participant to preventative services.
5) Ensure that a compressive Lifecourse Reproductive Plan is developed for each participant that also includes strengthening the family’s resilience.
6) Link male partners of enrolled women to the Male Responsibility group activities and individual program services.

It’s a tough job, and only a mother can do it!

Aug 2, 2016  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

A Mother’s Journey through Breastfeeding: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Written By: Samantha Thompson


Samantha and Baby Bryce

      When I was asked to write about my experiences with breastfeeding, I was honestly very excited!  I feel extremely accomplished in my seven-month journey and definitely have some stories to tell.  But when I sat down at my computer, I drew a blank.  Not a blank as in “I have nothing to say,” but a blank as in “where do I start?”  So I decided to just start writing and see where it leads me.

     Any parent can probably write an entire book telling stories of parenthood, but I only have a few paragraphs. So, I’m going to focus on three aspects of nursing my son: the good, the bad and the ugly.  Let’s start, though, with the ugly and work up to the good. If you can get through the ugly and the bad of breastfeeding, a.k.a the first few months, you are good to go.

breastfeeding week 4

Samantha and husband, Tory

     The ugliest part of breastfeeding for me was the pain. …LOTS of pain.  I took a nursing class a few weeks before my due date, as many mommies-to-be will or should do.  It was great information. I was informed about the science of breastfeeding, the techniques of breastfeeding, the benefits of breastfeeding and more. I was certain that I was well on my way to becoming the best breastfeeder in the world. What they left out in the class, was the emotional and physical toll nursing has on a new momma.  I had terribly cracked and bloody nipples for the first two months of nursing.  Every time my son latched, it was excruciatingly painful. I thought many times about giving up and struggled with the notion that I was somehow failing my little boy. I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t doing anything wrong so I contacted a lactation expert. After talking with the expert, I found out that my pain was completely normal.  There are, though, many different remedies for the physical pain, as explained to me by the expert. The things that saved me were lots of nipple butter, a nipple shield and ibuprofen.  At about the third month, I didn’t need any of those things! For the emotional struggle or baby blues, I found a lot of relief in talking to other mommas, whether they breastfed or not.  It’s super important to have an army of support around you!

       The bad part of breastfeeding, and the toughest for me, was the constant work and effort that is required initially. Everything was new to me! Newborns need to eat every hour or so and because breast milk is mainly water, it digests super quickly. Think about that for a second… that means that I was sitting with my newborn every other hour for at least 20 minutes per side all day every day…including nights. Although I enjoyed the timing bonding with my newborn, it was very tough for me to adjust. The nights were the worst for me. I’m very grumpy on minimal sleep, so says my husband. During this time, it is very handy to have an army of support. You have to have help! While you cannot give your boob to your significant other to feed the baby, there are things that they can do to support you. They can clean, cook dinner, wake up with you for the extra company or rub your feet when you become overly stressed.   Don’t be scared or feel less powerful by asking for a little help. Even if it’s just for someone to watch over your little one while you take a shower!

breastfeeding week 2

Samantha & Baby Bryce

Now that we’ve waded through the yucky stuff, let me say, breastfeeding is the most empowering thing I have ever done as a woman and mother. The benefits are honestly countless!  Every year there is more and more research that supports breastfeeding for the first six months of life (any amount is AMAZING!).  Not only are you feeding your baby with the most nutritious milk possible, you are also building their immune system.  Because the milk is organic, it actually changes to fit what your child needs.  As you nurse, your body picks up on any bacteria and viruses in your baby and creates pathogens to protect and fight against illness, all on its own! Breast milk has also been found to help prevent allergies. From my personal experience, my eight-month-old, whom I nursed for seven months, has only ever had pink eye once. No other fevers, funks or sickness!

breastfeeding week 1

Baby Bryce, 8 months old

Breastfeeding is not only tremendous for the little one, it’s also wonderful for the mother! Nursing mothers are less likely to suffer from postpartum depression. Remember those baby blues from earlier?  After I got the hang of nursing, those quickly went away! Feeding my little dude became stress relieving and relaxing. On top of that, breastfeeding helps momma lose some, if not all of the baby weight. I gained about 80-85 pounds in my pregnancy. Eight months later, I only have 15 more pounds to lose to break even! But the most rewarding part, for me, is the bond that my little one and I now share. Deciding to breastfeed has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.

There are many, many, more benefits of breastfeeding; I can’t possibly fit them all! Remember, you are a beautiful and wonderful mother, and whether you decide to breastfeed or not, you are going to be great! You can do this! Happy Worldwide Breastfeeding Week! #BreastMilkIsTheBestMilk


The top six reasons why moms-to-be should consider breastfeeding

Aug 1, 2016  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

If you’ve been thinking about whether you will or will not breastfeed, you may have weighed the pros and cons… Before you make your final decision, consider these six reasons why you should breastfeed.

  1. Breastfeeding Reduces Mommy’s Risk of Breast Cancer

Because your breasts will be busy making milk 24/7, breastfeeding limits cancerous cells from developing. Also, because Mommy will be focusing on eating more nutritious foods and following a healthier lifestyle (not smoking or drinking), the chances of cancer producing in the breast, as well as the entire
body, becomes limited, according to

  1. Breastfeeding May Help Mommy Lose Weight

This is a biggie! So the doctor tells you to wait until your six-week postpartum visit before you can start to vigorously exercise, but you really want to lose some of your baby weight! Breastfeeding helps mommy lose some of those pounds because your body naturally burns calories to produce milk. Also, as mentioned in reason number one, to produce healthier milk, many moms choose healthier eating options.

  1. Breastfeeding Allows Moms AND Dads to Sleep More

Because there is no prep needed to breast feed (making the bottle, warming the bottle up, testing the temperature of the milk, repeat), moms and dads get to sleep a little more during the night.

  1. Breastmilk is Always Ready and at the Right Temperature

It’s 4:37 a.m. and your baby is hungry. Instead of walking all the way to the kitchen, searching for the formula, plundering through the bottles until you find the correct size, measuring out the amount of formula needed, adding water, turning on the bottle warmer, waiting until the bottle is warm and then walking back into the bedroom to feed your baby, you could relax in your rocking chair, with all of the feeding materials need at arm’s reach.

  1. Breastmilk is Free

The estimated total cost of formula ranges between $1,138.50 and $1,188 per year. Again, breastmilk is FREE!

  1. That’s What Breasts Are For!

Need we say more? #BreastMilkIsTheBestMilk