Two health clinics on Jacksonville’s Northside will be transformed into what are called Health-Smart Holistic Health and Wellness Centers for senior citizens thanks to an $820,000 grant from the Humana Foundation.
Humana’s Laura Nolan said the UF Health centers are in the urban core communities of Durkeeville and Soutel in Health Zone 1, an area plagued by relatively poor health compared with Duval County as a whole.
“They have a major obesity epidemic there. There’s poor nutrition, there’s lack of access to healthy foods — all within that area,” Nolan said.
Beyond the clinics, the money will help the University of Florida collaborate with the surrounding community to promote “physical, mental and spiritual health.”
“They’ll have trained health empowerment coaches," Nolan said. "Some of this funding will also be allotted for the food pantries that will be on site at the churches and also refrigeration and freezer capabilities so that there can be more organic and healthy foods.”
The grant was awarded for one year but could be extended by another two years if the program proves successful, she said.