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First Coast Connect

6/20/2017: Homelessness Briefing; 'Moveable Feast'; Bill Brinton; Women With Heart- Nicole Thomas

Today on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with Dawn Gilman (01:07), CEO of Changing Homelessness about a battling homelessness in the Northeast Florida. Our latest segment of “Moveable Feast” with Leigh Court of the Women’s Food Alliance featured Destination Planning owner Anne Urban (23:40). We remembered long-time Jacksonville attorney and environmental activist Bill Burton (37:16), who passed away Monday, and this month’s Women with Heart honoree is Nicole Thomas (45:16), CEO of Baptist Medical Center South. 


Homelessness Briefing   

It’s a new overview of the best way to end homelessness in Northeast Florida. The new national organization Lead Homelessness is convening top leaders around the region on the Jacksonville University campus on Wednesday. Among other things, they’ll learn how Orlando has transformed its approach to dealing with that city’s homeless population. Registration for the briefing begins at 8 a.m with the presentation at 8:30 a.m. at the Davis College of Business.  

‘Moveable Feast’

She started out as social director at her college sorority and went on to build an event planning empire. In today’s “Moveable Feast,” we look at dining and hospitality trends across the area with Urban, who also had some ideas for summer entertaining.

Bill Brinton

Jacksonville environmental activist and attorney Bill Brinton died Monday from lung cancer. He was 64. Brinton was a leading figure in getting term limits approved in Jacksonville, as well as legislation limiting billboards around town and protecting trees from developers both here in our area and in cities around the country. Brinton appeared on First Coast Connect in May. This is a rebroadcast.

Women With Heart- Nicole Thomas

She’s the first woman to be named a hospital president in Baptist Health’s 61-year history. Nicole Thomas is CEO of Baptist Medical Center South and is  responsible for the operational and strategic direction of the second largest community hospital in the health system. Thomas is also this month’s Woman with Heart for Volunteers in Medicine. As this month’s honoree, she will spend June wearing a $7,000 heart shaped necklace to raise awareness of Volunteers in Medicine. The necklace will be raffled off in February. Volunteers in Medicine is a free healthcare clinic that provides outpatient primary and specialty medical services to Northeast Florida’s working, low-income residents who do not have health insurance.  

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.