Florida Blue Foundation awards 3 in Jacksonville

Three Jacksonville individuals or groups are among nine nationwide recipients of Florida Blue Foundation Sapphire Awards for excellence in community health care. You are a pediatrician Jeffrey Goldhagen, UF Health Total Care Clinic group and the non-profit organization Ability housing.

The awards were announced in an online ceremony on May 4th.

“Our mission to help people and communities improve health goes well beyond physical health,” he said Susan Towler, Managing director of the foundation. “We can help build stronger communities by supporting local organizations that remove the barriers that prevent the most vulnerable people from achieving their highest health potential.”

Goldhagen, Medical Director of the Child Health Partnership and director of community and community pediatrics at UF College of Medicine in Jacksonville, was recognized for his work in supporting mental wellbeing. He said the $ 60,000 award will support the partnership, a nonprofit that drives medical, mental, behavioral and developmental health priorities for children and families in northern Florida.


UF Total Care Health Clinic, which provides primary and specialty care to low-income people who do not qualify for traditional Medicaid, has been recognized for its health equity. The six clinics provide patients with access to a team of doctors, medical assistants, pharmacists, social workers and nutritionists. doctor Ross Jones accepted an award of $ 60,000.

Ability Housing, which creates affordable rental housing for the homeless, homeless and adults with disabilities, has also been recognized for its health equity. Shannon NazworthThe president and CEO of the nonprofit accepted an award of $ 50,000.


Here is more good news:

• Jacksonville Nonprofit Kim’s open doorThe company, which serves children at risk, has a newly renovated Mercedes Sprinter van courtesy of Mercedes-Benz USA and its Jacksonville South Office, supported by Jacksonville-based Mercedes-Benz. The van was delivered at the end of April.

The van will help the organization distribute meals to families struggling with food insecurity and double its capacity to transport children in the community, many of whom are recently refugees, to and from activities. The vehicle is the latest from MBUSA Curbside Caring, an initiative from the company’s Greatness Lives Here community outreach program.

Kim Bogart, founder of the non-profit Kim's Open Door, gives the thumbs up for the van, which was renovated by employees of Mercedes-Benz USA.

Kim’s Open Door acquired the used vehicle with financial support from MBUSA to offset the associated costs. Together with Mercedes-Benz from Jacksonville, employees from the company’s Southern Region Office and the Mercedes-Benz Vans team worked to find the most suitable vehicle to buy.

From there, the Sprinter was delivered to Mercedes-Benz USA, where his team of engineers and technicians from Jacksonville donated around 300 hours of personal time to bring the vehicle to optimal mechanical condition. Mercedes-Benz employees in Jacksonville donated time and resources to repair damage to the body of the van.

“We are grateful for every opportunity, big or small, to help those who work to make a positive impact on the lives of the most vulnerable children in our city,” he said Mike Nolte, General Manager of the South Region Office.

Kim BogartKim’s founder of Open Door thanked Mercedes-Benz for the continued support.

“Children need our services now more than ever, and this new sprinter van will allow our team to increase the number of families we care for,” she said.

Cindy Pearson (from left), Duval County School board member, Rachael Tutwiler Fortune, president of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, Nadine Ebri, teacher at Southside Middle School, and Dana Krizner, assistant superintendent of Duval County Schools.  Ebri was named Educator of the Year by Jacksonville Elks Lodge # 221.

• • Elks Lodge # 221 of Jacksonville presented its annual awards to outstanding figures who have made a difference in the community. The Pedagogue of the Year went to Nadine Ebri, a teacher at Southside Middle School. The firefighter of the year was Lt. Mike Belcher the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Dept. and Law Enforcement Officer of the Year went on Stephen Lutze, a Jacksonville cop.

The recipients were selected by William Watson III, a lodge behind the exalted ruler.

In addition, Brandon Griggs of Stanton College Preparatory School received a US $ 20,000 scholarship awarded over four years as a top 20 finalist in Elks National Foundation’s Most Valuable Student Scholarship Competition. He was selected from more than 23,000 applicants.

The April ceremony took place at the Lodge on West Road 1855.

William Watson III of Elks Lodge 221 and Brandon Griggs, a student at Stanton College Preparatory School and winner of an MVS Scholarship Award from the Elks National Foundation.

• As part of the Lag B’Omer celebration of the Jewish community, students have the Jacksonville Jewish CenterThe Martin J. Gottlieb Day School and DuBow PreSchool participated in a cereal box challenge that benefited local food banks and charities.

Approximately 600 cereal boxes were donated and placed domino-style on April 30th to cascade across the school’s outside lane. The school gathered outside to cheer on the dominoes of cereal boxes. The grain was then delivered to the George Washington Carver Elementary School and the Max Bloch Food Pantry at Jewish Family & Community Services.

Lag B’Omer is a Jewish holiday celebrated outdoors that honors Torah study. The event highlighted the teaching of the commandment to feed the hungry.

Students from the Jacksonville Jewish Center's Martin J. Gottlieb Day School pose with some cereal boxes collected for local charities and food banks.

Do you have any good news? You can email The Florida Times-Union, PO Box 1949, Jacksonville, FL 32231, or email [email protected]

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