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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

11/23/2016: Mental Health; Legacy Trust; Lung Cancer Support Network; 'Dreamgirls'


  Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we heard about the state of mental health care in Northeast Florida with Mental Health America of Northeast Florida President and CEO Denise Marzullo. Legacy Trust Director Marty Flack and relationship manager Holly Tyrrell joined the show to talk about the do’s and don’ts of holiday spending and what we can expect with the stock market next year under President-elect Donald Trump. Dr. Paul Clark spoke about Jacksonville’s new Lung Cancer Support Network. And cast members of Stage Aurora’s “Dreamgirls,” Patrick Johnson, Ebony Murray and Darryl Reuben Hall joined guest host Jessica Palombo and performed in studio.   

Mental Health

Florida is among the six worst states for low access to mental health care combined with a high rate of incarceration. Jacksonville is making progress toward fixing that, but state and local funding is still lacking.

Legacy Trust

It’s almost time to start that holiday shopping. And sometimes we get so caught up in the holidays we overspend and find ourselves with a big credit card bill come January.

Tyrell gave creative tips for keeping present buying in check, while Flack said the stock market is expected to do well in 2017.     

Lung Cancer Support Network

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. The Lung Cancer Support Network is a new support program open to all Duval County residents living with a lung cancer diagnosis. Meanwhile, since the mid-1990s, lung cancer mortality rates have decreased, so more survivors are in need of post-treatment support. Clark is one of the Living with Lung Cancer Network’s founders and an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of North Florida.


It was a Tony award winning musical that became an Oscar winning movie.

“Dreamgirls” tells the story of three young singers who becomes superstars. It’s being performed this month by the Stage Aurora Theatre company at the Ritz Theatre and Museum. If you haven’t seen it yet you have two more chances this Saturday and Sunday.

Producer Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.