July 1, 2021
Barnabas Center earned a 2021 Gold Rating from the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) Quality Standards Program. By self-attesting that the organization has certain policies and procedures in place, it can highlight its commitment to providing quality care to patients.
The mission of the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics is to ensure the medically underserved have access to affordable health care. The NAFC and its members are dedicated to ensuring that patients receive quality health care. To quantify and qualify the care provided at the Free and Charitable Clinic network, the NAFC formalized a set of Quality Standards for member organizations.
“Barnabas Health Services believes that every individual should have an opportunity to lead a healthy and productive life,” said Michele VandenBossche, Barnabas Health Services Manager. “Barnabas connects people, help, and hope to families in need throughout Nassau County. We hold ourselves to a high standard of excellence, accountability, and service. We value our relationship with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics and appreciate the recognition for our commitment in providing quality standards of care.”
NAFC Members voluntarily submit information to the NAFC on the various policies and procedures in place to attain their standards rating and attest/pledge that they successfully incorporate these standards within their organization.
NAFC Quality Standards elements include policies and procedures related to the following areas: Administrative, Enhanced Access and Continuity of Care, Identifying and Managing Patient Population information, Planning and Managing Care, Providing Self-Care Support and Community Resources, Tracking and Coordinating Care, and Measuring and Improving Performance.
For more information on the NAFC, please visit www.nafcclinics.org. For more information on Barnabas Center programs and services, please visit www.BarnabasNassau.org.
Summer House Realty
June 22, 2021
Summer House Realty donates more than $58,000 to Water Mission, a Charleston, South Carolina based non-profit organization that provides self-sustaining water filtration projects to communities worldwide. Summer House founders Jenny and James Schaffer were intrigued about this non-profit more than 10 years ago and have been blessed to support them through their company since its creation. Summer House is structured so that a portion of the real estate agent’s commissions that come back to the company are earmarked for Water Mission.
Annually, the Summer House team travels to Charleston to learn about the incredible work Water Mission is doing around the world and present Water Mission with their donation check. This year the team made the trip on June 11, 2021, and were honored to donate over $58,000. To date, through the donations from Summer House and doing work locally in Augusta, GA and Amelia Island, FL, 13,700 people were provided access to clean, safe water for the very first time. Water Mission utilized their donations to contribute to sustainable, safe water projects in Nankandulo, Uganda, Mlambala, Malawi, Mtiti, Malawi, Robert, Haiti and Piatre, Haiti.
A cornerstone of Summer House Realty is giving back to the community. Summer House believes that when you work with the mentality that it is not about you, but about others, you will always be successful and have energy and joy knowing that your work goes further. Anyone can start a business, but to create a movement that impacts the world in such a big way is priceless.
Fernandina Beach, Florida, May 28, 2021. – In celebration of Earth Day, Keep Nassau Beautiful (KNB) partnered with Fernandina Beach Middle School (FBMS) to plant 300 Florida-friendly flowering plants. The project required support from many sponsors including school custodians and maintenance for installation of irrigation, KNB volunteers to construct five 4’x8’ raised beds, Lowe’s to help source supplies, Liberty Landscape Supply to sponsor and deliver 34 yards of soil, Dune Science Group to assist with sourcing the plants, Fernandina Beach Parks and Rec to maintain the plants until the beds were ready for planting, and volunteers from the Florida Native Plant Society, IXIA Chapter to provide the plant recommendation and youth education.
Assistant Principal Kathryn Benson was the school champion for the project. Students quickly became enthusiastic for the project and as a result the FBMS Garden Group was formed to participate in the planting and maintenance of the beds. School educator Katie Haynes volunteered to lead the Garden Group and manage the watering schedule. The beds are planted with 7 species of Florida-friendly flowering plants. The milkweed quickly provided an educational opportunity for the students. Monarch Butterfly eggs, larva, and caterpillars were visible from day one. Very shortly caterpillars were observed transitioning to chrysalis, and within a few weeks the first Monarch Butterfly emerged to repeat the cycle.
Momentum has continued to build for the project and the Garden Group. KNB recently held an educational event to answer questions from the Garden Group regarding the lifecycle of a Monarch butterfly, and other insects observed in the raised beds. Additionally, with contributions to its Legacy Tree program from Amelia Island Foundation and an anonymous donor, KNB provided three 30-gallon Live Oak trees which were supplied by Liberty Landscape Supply. The live oak trees were planted along a common area walk-way and will provide shade and benefits for many years to come!
“Fernandina Beach Middle School deeply appreciates the support Keep Nassau Beautiful has poured into our school,” said Kathryn Benson, Assistant principal. “As a result of Executive Director Lynda Bell’s leadership and the generosity of Keep Nassau Beautiful and its partners, our students are now immersed in a living lab that allows them to observe the scientific processes taking place all around them, as they participate in hands-on learning opportunities; their excitement for this endeavor is contagious, and our Garden Club has swiftly grown to become the largest club on campus with nearly 1 of every 9 students involved in taking care of and nurturing these plants and the animal lives they sustain. We are so very grateful for how our community has rallied around us in providing our students this incredible opportunity.”
“We appreciate the support of Fernandina Beach City Commissioners and the Florida Department of Transportation, whose grant programs made this educational project possible,” said Lynda Bell, Executive Director KNB. “Together with these sponsors and educators we are building a curiosity for the love of nature in the minds of our Nassau County youth.”
For information and to get involved in Planting Nassau’s Future: www.KeepNassauBeautiful.org or 261-0165.
Barnabas Center Nassau
Date: May 27, 2021
Christie Patterson has lived in Nassau County for 11 years. Her husband is disabled. She is unemployed because she must stay at home to care for him. They do not have health insurance. Christie found out she had diabetes in 2013. That is when she contacted Barnabas for help.
Thanks to ongoing participation in Barnabas’ Rx for Healthy Living Program, Christie’s diabetes has improved, and she is benefiting even more from a new Barnabas partnership with Amelia Fresh, a local food hub.
Amelia Fresh is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping local farmers and producers, as well as addressing food waste and food insecurity in Nassau County. Their mission is to provide convenient, economical and environmentally friendly access to healthy and fresh local goods.
Access to nutritious foods is a challenge for many Nassau County residents like Christie. But Barnabas’ Rx for Healthy Living Program encourages patients like her to take charge of their health and future by eating healthy foods. The patients who are enrolled in this program have one or more chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease or other chronic illnesses.
Relatedly, more than 13 percent of our Nassau County neighbors don’t know from where or when they will get their next meal. That’s called food insecurity. And, that’s equal to 1 of 6 adults and 1 of 4 children in our community who are hungry. Food insecurity is defined as a lack of access, at times, to enough food, including limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.
A few of the most significant factors that influence food insecurity and lack of access to nutritious foods include poverty, unemployment and spending trade-offs such as paying housing or medical bills versus not purchasing healthy foods.
Without warning, the need for food nearly tripled as the pandemic caused a significant increase in unemployment. The past year, Barnabas’ food programs provided 207,815 meals of healthy food to 3,939 food insecure households with 20,882 family members. Barnabas is thankful for the outpouring of support from the community, food partners and volunteers who donated produce, food and time to help distribute thousands of pounds of food to Nassau County neighbors in need.
In addition, several years ago Barnabas developed the Rx for Healthy Living Program to support those patients who have limited access to nutritious foods. The new partnership with Amelia Fresh serves to not only provide access, but to also educate patients about produce and ways to prepare it at home.
Every other week, Barnabas’ twenty-five RX for Healthy Living participants receive one no-cost fresh produce box from Amelia Fresh. Barnabas adds to each box a variety of no- or low-sugar and low-sodium items, based on the patients’ needs. If a patient has mobility or transportation barriers, several members of the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise generously volunteer their time to deliver those much-needed 50 boxes each month.
“I love the Rx for Healthy Living program because it helps me resist eating sweets,” Christie said. “Receiving fruit in my produce box is great. I’ve lost some weight and have learned what kinds of produce is best for me to eat. I am so happy my diabetes is under control.”
The RX for Healthy Living Program has proven to be successful with 58% of patients with high blood pressure having achieved improved readings and meeting their target goals, and 35% of patients accomplishing weight loss of 4 to 40 pounds.
For Amelia Fresh’s regular customers who are placing orders on ameliafresh.com, the food hub offers two options to donate to Barnabas’ RX for Healthy Living Program: a monthly $5 and a one-time $20 donation, which go directly toward purchasing a box of produce for Barnabas’ patients.
Amelia Fresh Local Food Hub is located in Fernandina Beach where you’ll find locally grown seasonal produce, meats, dairy, locally roasted coffee, tea, fresh baked breads, grains, honey, soaps and other artisan goods. You can order online at AmeliaFresh.com. Orders can be picked up or delivered to your home.
Barnabas is deeply grateful to Amelia Fresh, the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise and the many donors who support this beneficial program. For information about Barnabas’ health services and qualifications, call (904) 261-7000.
May 21, 2021 – Fernandina Beach, FL – Team New Beginnings Realtors Rick and Jessica Miller are conducting a fundraising raffle to benefit Foar From Home. Foar From Home is a group of four local Amelia Island veterans rowing across the Atlantic Ocean to raise funds and awareness for other veterans suffering PTSD and suicide.
The amazing prize package is valued over $1,000. Ticket options include: 1 ticket for $10, 3 tickets for $25, and 10 tickets for $50. Tickets can be purchased in person at Keller Williams Realty, Atlantic Partners, 4800 1st Coast Highway, Suite 230, Fernandina Beach FL Monday through Friday from 10 am – 3 pm, or Amelia Toffee Company, 822 Sadler Road, Fernandina Beach, FL Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 am – 12 noon. Tickets may also be purchased online: http://teamnewbeginningsrealtors.square.site. The drawing will be held on the Team New Beginnings Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/newbeginningsrealtors) live at 10 am on Wednesday, June 30. For complete prize package details and more information, please visit: https://foarfromhome.com/event/row-the-boat-raffle/.
Team New Beginnings Realtors Rick and Jessica Miller have been Amelia Island residents since 1998 and small business owners for 17 years. They are passionate about serving others and this island community. They have been selling real estate full time for Keller Williams Realty, Atlantic Partners since 2015. For more information about their real estate business, please contact them at 904-753-1715 or Amelia8Flags@gmail.com.
Foar From Home is composed of four passionate veterans representing four different branches of the United States military rowing across the Atlantic Ocean to fight veteran PTSD and suicide: Billy Cimino, veteran United States Army, Cameron Hansen, veteran United States Air Force, A.M. ‘Hupp” Huppman, retired United States Navy, and Paul Lore, veteran United States Marine Corps. For information or to donate to Foar From Home, please visit https://foarfromhome.com.
Nassau County, Florida, May 12, 2021. – One of the annual programs sponsored by the Florida Urban Forestry Council (FUFC) is The Friends of Our Urban Forest Awards program. This program recognizes achievements of organizations and individuals in their efforts to manage, promote, educate, and advocate for urban forests in their communities. Categories for nominations include outstanding professional, outstanding tree advocate or advocacy group, outstanding project, outstanding urban forestry program, outstanding tree ordinance, and lifetime achievement.
The FUFC is proud to announce that Keep Nassau Beautiful, Inc. (KNB) is being recognized as the winner of the 2020 Friends of Our Urban Forest Award in the category of Outstanding urban Forestry Program. Through their Planting Nassau’s Future program, the Adopt-A-Tree workshops and Legacy Tree programs have surpassed their original goal of planting 300 trees across Nassau County. The program will continue to provide sustainable, repeatable programs to educate and motivate residents on the importance of Nassau County’s urban forests.
The award was presented at a Nassau County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting by Joe Anderson, FUFC President, where he thanked and encouraged the BOCC and Public Works Dept. for their support of KNB and its programs which help make Nassau County a beautiful, sustainable, and resilient community.
“Keep Nassau Beautiful has demonstrated to FUFC that they take their role very seriously in supporting the future of Nassau County through their urban forestry program Planting Nassau’s Future,” said Mr. Anderson. “Planting Nassau’s Future is building a green infrastructure that does not depreciate, it appreciates.”
“2021 has already surpassed our 2020 success by assisting in the planting of more than 760 trees and 800 Florida friendly flowering plants,” said Lynda Bell, KNB Executive Director. “We are proud to be celebrating our 30th year and we appreciate the community support of our mission to help highlight the beauty of Nassau County.”
For information and to get involved in Planting Nassau’s Future: www.KeepNassauBeautiful.org or 261-0165.
While graduations may continue to look a little bit different this year, there’s just as much excitement to honor these hardworking students. At Orange Park Mall, we’re excited to honor the graduates of 2021 and all of their accomplishments through special opportunities throughout the summer:
We look forward to these different ways to safely celebrate the class of 2021 in our community.
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
8:30 AM - 2:00 PM
1 Rayonier Way
Appointments suggested but walk-ups are welcome
Here are a few tips for a successful blood donation: Yes this really works
After donation: remember no heavy lifting or vigorous exercise the rest of the day, grab a healthy snack, and drink plenty of water.
All donors will receive a OneBlood T-shirt & a $10 eGift Card! Plus, a wellness checkup including a COVID-19 antibody test, blood pressure, pulse, temperature, iron count, and cholesterol screening.
White Oak Conservation
May 4, 2021
We are excited to announce that the first group of Asian elephants have arrived at White Oak and are settling into their new home!
Twelve female elephants, ranging from 8 to 38 years old, were moved 200 miles in customized trucks to White Oak from their previous facility in Polk County, FL.
Upon arrival, they were released into two large paddocks to acclimate, adjacent to a specially designed, climate-controlled barn where veterinarians and specialists monitored their health and well-being. The elephants have now ventured out of the paddocks into pine forests with ponds, wetlands, and open grasslands.
The area the elephants now inhabit is large enough that the elephants have various habitats and food plant species available to them. They can choose to stay near the barn and their human caregivers, or wander in the woods, wallow in the mud, and swim in the pond.
White Oak Conservation’s philosophy is to accommodate animals’ natural behavior and social bonds as closely as possible so family groups will be together. This elephant herd has been socialized together for the past several months and includes two sets of full sisters and numerous half-sisters.
We are so excited to share this news with our White Oak friends first. Thank you all for your support. We could not have done this without you!
To learn more in our press release, click here.
Only 30,000 to 50,000 Asian elephants remain in the wild in less than 15% of their historic range.
Where they do survive, they continue to be threatened by habitat degradation and fragmentation, conflict with humans and poaching.
White Oak Conservation continues to conduct limited scheduled tours due to the pandemic, but visitors cannot currently visit the elephants while they acclimate and the construction of additional habitats continues.
To visit White Oak Conservation and see our more than 30 other species through a tour, which you can schedule by calling 904-225-3396.
If you would like to contribute to our elephant conservation work, you can do so here, or by calling 904-225-3383 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We are thrilled to give these elephants a place to wander and explore,” said Mark and Kimbra Walter. “We are working to protect wild animals in their native habitats. But for these elephants that can’t be released, we are pleased to give them a place where they can live comfortably for the rest of their lives.”
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