November 20, 2015
Nov 20

Clinton Health Matters Initiative Announces Progress of Northeast Florida Blueprint for Action

Jacksonville, FL
Press Release

Convening highlights commitments by community stakeholders to lower rates of preventable disease

Jacksonville, FL – At an event this afternoon in St. Johns County, Florida, the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) announced progress with their Northeast Florida Blueprint for Action to decrease rates of preventable disease in the region.

In January 2013, CHMI, the PGA TOUR and THE PLAYERS Championship partnered to establish a community transformation region in the five county area of Northeast Florida which includes Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns counties. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings, this region is home to both the county with the best health outcomes in the state and one of the unhealthiest. This disparity is reflected in employment, educational attainment, access to healthy foods, and other important assets for community health.

In July 2014, CHMI released the Northeast Florida Blueprint for Action, which outlined community-defined Bold Action Steps that are the basis for driving collaboration, guiding national partnerships and aligning efforts toward building a healthier community for the citizens of Northeast Florida.

“The path to helping everyone live their best life must start at the community level. Communities know and understand best what their residents need and how to empower individuals,” said Rain Henderson, CEO of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative. “Better health is achievable through multi-faceted and multi-sector partnerships like those that have been built in Northeast Florida.”

“The idea that you can make progress across the community means that everybody has to be involved and pitch in. That is what is happening here in Northeast Florida,” said Tim Finchem, PGA TOUR Commissioner.

Impact to date aligned with CHMI’s Northeast Florida Blueprint for Action includes:

  • More than 16,000 mothers and babies served through the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition and a pilot text messaging system, CareMessage, which works to improve the health and well-being of women during their childbearing years with the goal of reducing health disparities and infant mortality.
  • Ten Walgreens Pharmacy locations selling fresh fruit and vegetables in an area of Duval County with some of the greatest health disparities.
  • Delivering critical behavioral and mental health services to more than 300 underserved girls and their families through Girl Matters: Giving Girls a Voice, a program of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center.
  • A 10% reduction in homelessness across the region through Ability Housing of Northeast Florida, including a 24% reduction in veteran homelessness and an 18% reduction in chronic homelessness.
  • More than 1,000 participants at STAR student leader workshops as part of I’m a STAR Foundation’s work to engage youth, ages 12-18, to create, design, develop, and implement healthy living initiatives in Northeast Florida.
  • The One Love Foundation educating, empowering, and activating Northeast Florida’s youth in a movement to decrease the prevalence of gender based violence on college campuses using Escalation, a unique and powerful film workshop as a catalyst.
  • More than 500 community members coming together to advance research-based strategies for improving children’s health and development through theJacksonville System of Care Initiative, with 10 schools currently engaged in the Child-Friendly Schools initiative.
  • Seven county maps that have been updated to reflect available bikeways and greenways as part of Visit Jacksonville’s effort to implement a Northeast Florida transportation plan to access education and employment opportunities for its residents.
  • An effort to increase substance abuse prevention and mental illness identification training with school counselors, law enforcement, and emergency responders by Drug Free Duval and Nassau Crime and Drug Abatement, which has established the SBIRT program (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment). Sixteen state, county, and local agencies across Northeast Florida have been trained in this public health approach to early identification, intervention, and treatment services for people with or at risk of substance use disorders.

In January 2016, the Clinton Health Matters Initiative will host its fifth Annual Activation Summit where participants will discuss progress made in Northeast Florida, other communities in which CHMI has developed Blueprints for Action, and ways to improve the health and well-being of people across the country.

CHMI now operates in six communities, including Northeast Florida, the Coachella Valley, Central Arkansas, Greater Houston, Adams County, Mississippi, and Knox County, Illinois. In each community, CHMI publishes a regional Blueprint for Action – a five-year strategic plan, developed with input from over 150 stakeholders in each region, which sets local priorities and outlines action steps to improve health indicators unique to each community. CHMI’s community transformation programs are reaching 8 million people.

For more information about CHMI and the Clinton Foundation, visit For the latest updates, follow the Clinton Foundation on Facebook ( and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.​