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First Coast Connect

5/4/2017: Opioid Emergency; B&G Educational Innovations; Jewish Food Festival; Madison Carr

Thursday on “First Coast Connect," we spoke with Dr. Raymond Pomm from Gateway Community Services and River Region Human Services and Dr. Christine Caufield (01:05), executive director with LSF Health Systems, about Gov. Rick Scott declaring the opioid epidemic an emergency health crisis.   We also heard from B & G Educational Innovations CEO and co-founder Elizabeth Benson (26:44). Congregation Ahavath Chesed spokesman Robert Cohen (35:08) told us about the upcoming Jacksonville Jewish Food Festival and we heard a live in-studio performance by local musician Madison Carr (47:52). 

Opioid Emergency

Scott has signed an emergency order to combat the opioid epidemic. Scott’s action will allow the state to immediately draw down more than $27 million in federal grant funding, which was awarded to Florida last month to provide prevention, treatment and recovery support services. Pomm and Caufield discussed the opioid epidemic and the what’s being done locally.  say that help can’t come soon enough.

B & G Educational Innovations

It’s estimated 1,000 people a day die in our healthcare system due to errors in technology and communication. Improving patient outcomes through better clinical training is the goal of B&G Educational Innovations. The company relocated from Maryland here to Jacksonville with the help from investors with One Spark Ventures.

Jewish Food Festival    

The food festival will feature brisket, corned beef, matzah ball soup, latkes , bagels, hummus, falafel, kugel and macaroons. The event will also include the sixth annual Jewish baking contest, Bubbe’s Bake Off, with expert judges including food bloggers and recipe book authors. It’s Sunday at Congregation Ahavath Chesed.

Madison Carr

Local singer-songwriter and Douglas Anderson High School student Madison Carr is performing this weekend at the Gamble Rogers Music Festival in St. Augustine. She said Johnny Cash and John Lennon are two of her major influences in her songwriting.     

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

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.