Magnolia Project


Our mission is to 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.


The Magnolia Project is a special federally-funded Healthy Start initiative to improve the health and well-being of women during their childbearing years (15–44 years old) in 32208, 32209, 32211 and 32277). This area in the city’s central urban core and adjacent area was selected as the target area for implementation of the Magnolia Project due to the high infant mortality rate. Our goal is to work with women to address risk factors (pregnancy intervals, nutrition issues, substance/alcohol abuse, psychosocial problems, family planning and other issues) that impact their health and may affect a future pregnancy.

The Magnolia Project was implemented in 1999 to address an identified gap in the system of maternal and child health services directly linked to health disparities in infant mortality — pre- and inter-conception care. The Project is a recognized leader in the development, implementation and evaluation of preconception health and related interventions using a life course approach and serves as an important community entry point for women seeking both prenatal and well-woman care, especially family planning services. In 2010 the project adapted its interventions to address social determinants and reproductive health capacity at the community-level, in addition to individual health and social risk factors.

The project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1.07 million with 100 percentage financed with nongovernmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

Who We Serve

The target population for intensive case management provided by the Magnolia Project is women who are currently not pregnant, but are at-risk of becoming pregnant in the near future. Included are women who are sexually active and capable of pregnancy (no BTI or hysterectomy).

Specific priority groups include:

  • Women who have had a previous poor birth outcome (fetal or infant loss, low birth weight baby),
  • Women who had a child as a young teenager (<15 years old),
  • Women of childbearing age (15-44) who do not have a regular source of health care,
  • Substance-abusing women,
  • Women with a history of mental health or psychosocial problems (partner or child abuse, depression, anxiety),
  • Women with a history of causal, high-risk or unprotected sexual relationships, and,
  • Women identified as at-risk who are referred by child protection services, or other health and social agencies.

Case Management Services Extended in 2014:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children ages 0-3 of women enrolled in the project.
  • Male partner or male support of women enrolled in the project.

Services Offered

Comprehensive Service Entry Assessment: Magnolia Project participants undergo a comprehensive assessment at intake using the project-developed Case Management Strength and Problem Checklist. The Checklist functions as: 1) a screening tool to identify participants’ health, and psychosocial risk factors, as well as protective factors and 2) a tracking tool to record the strategies used to address the risks and resolution of risks. The checklist is supplemented by topic-specific assessment tools, including the Edinburgh Depression Screen and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS).

Case Management Life Course Model: The Magnolia Project integrates the life course perspective model in providing individual intensive case management services. The model includes specific focus on the social determinants of health.

Group Risk Reduction and Support: Participants take part in group-level activities for an additional six-nine months, depending on individual needs and progress in addressing their life plans. Group activities may include but are not limited too: Financial Literacy, Freedom (behavioral health),  Reproductive Health, Nutrition, Women Enlightening Women.

Preconception Toolkit: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Select Panel on Preconception Health – Provider Work Group developed the Preconception Toolkit.

Clinical: The Magnolia Project offers well-woman and primary care clinical services through two clinics for women who do not have access to healthcare and live in the target area. The Project serves as a medical home for most program participants. Agape Community Health Center is the clinical partner at both location (5300 N. Pearl St. and 6024 Merrill Rd.) See below for a full list of services you can access through the Magnolia Project by calling 904.353.2130:

  • Primary Care
  • Well-women care
  • Prenatal care
  • Family planning
  • STI treatment

Health Education: The Magnolia Project provides health education and promotion to all project participants using a standardized curriculum. The Magnolia Project Health Education Specialist provides individual contraceptive counseling one-on-one for project participants, particularly long-acting reversible contraception.

Mental Health: A woman who experiences high levels of psychosocial stress is at risk for poor pregnancy outcomes like premature birth. Women are linked to specific stress reduction classes or mental health group activities offered by the project.

Fatherhood/Male Involvement: The Magnolia Project offers group education services as part of the Responsible Fatherhood initiative and male case management, information and referrals at the project site for the fathers and/or men associated with enrolled project participants.

Fatherhood Resource Guide: The guide is available here.

Children’s Services: The project incorporated developmental screening into case management activities for program participants who have infants and children up to age three.  Case managers use the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3)23 and Ages and Stages Social-Emotional Questionnaire (ASQ-SE)24 to identify children at-risk for or experiencing developmental delay

Community Development and Education:

  • Outreach Education: The Magnolia Project employs staff that reflect and are vested in the community.  The outreach team members function as part of a multi-disciplinary team that includes nurses, social workers and other professionals employed through partner agencies. The outreach team provides education, workshops in identified housing complex within the target area and referral and resources linkage for the community served by the project.
  • Make a Difference! Leadership Academy: The Leadership Academy is a key component of the life- course framework. It’s goal is to change the trajectory of a community through the individuals trained and assisted in the development of a Community Action Plan. This plan outlines a specific project to move a community to action.
  • Collective Impact/Community Action Network (CAN): The Magnolia Project will achieve collective impact through a Community Action Network (CAN). The CAN works with partners and community residents to implement a common agenda, shared measurement approach and coordinated system of service delivery.
  • Community Action Group (CAG): The CAG is a group of volunteers working with at-risk families, and other partner agencies in the region to implement  and develop street-level outreach activities based on the annual Fetal and Infant Mortality Review recommendations.

Community-wide Education Glossary of Terms  (Coming Soon)

Women’s Health Conference: The community health promotion and education event in held each fall at one of the five designated housing complexes within the target community.

Spring Health Fair: The health fair is one of the project’s community health promotion and education activities that is held annually community wide within the target community.

National Women’s Health Week: During Women’s Health Week each May, the project offers free screenings at the clinic, as well as educational forums and health promotion activities. In 2013, Women’s Health Week activities focused on the Show Your Love Preconception Health Campaign, a project of the CDC Select Panel on Preconception Health’s Consumer Work Group, and hosted a community meeting on the ACA. Since then, the project has continued to host a series of events throughout the entire week in observance of Women’s Health Week.


  • Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP)
  • AGAPE Community Health Centers Inc.
  • AmeriCorps
  • Enroll America
  • Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida
  • Jacksonville Housing Authority ( JHA)
  • JobCorps
  • Fresh Ministries– Strengthen Families Program
  • Gateway Community Services (GCS)
  • River Region Human Services (RRHS)
  • Edward Waters College
  • Workforce Development

Evidence-based and Research Informed Programs, Curricula & Tools

  • Nurse-Family Partnership (MIECHV)
  • Healthy Families Jacksonville
  • Early Head Start
  • Partners for a Healthy Baby
  • Magnolia Project Standardized Health Education Curriculum
  • Make a Noise! Make a Difference! Lay Health Advocate Curriculum
  • SCRIPT Smoking Cessation
  • Strengthening Families
  • 24/7 Dad, Boot Camp for New Dads, Mom as Gateway
  • Foundations for Success in Parenting
  • Edinburgh Depression Screen, Perceived Stress Scale, ACE Questionnaire, JHP Contextualized Stress Measure, WEB


The Northeast Florida Center for Community Initiatives (CCI) housed in the Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work Department at the University of North Florida serves as the local evaluator for the Magnolia Project.


Contact Information

Marsha Davis, Director
The Magnolia Project
5300 N. Pearl St.
Jacksonville, FL 32208
6024 Merrill Road
Jacksonville, FL 32277
Office: 904.353.2130 x1005
Fax: 904.353.2131