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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

12/20/18: Volunteers in Medicine; Gymnastics; Yemen Blues

Own work

According to new data by the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 2.7 million people in Florida lacked health insurance at some point in 2017.

Going without health insurance either by choice or because you simply can’t afford it can have life-threatening consequences. On the First Coast, getting access to care can be just as difficult as in other parts of the state.

Volunteers in Medicine is helping the working uninsured get often lifesaving health care.

Joining us with a closer look was:

  • Jennifer Ryan, CEO of Volunteers in Medicine
  • Dr. Gerardo Colon-Otero of Mayo Clinic, a volunteer physician at Volunteers in Medicine
  • Darnell Smith, Florida Blue’s Market President for the North Florida Region
  • Melanie Patz, Vice President of Community Investment and Impact for Baptist Health
  • Dr. Jossie McCloud, medical director of the St. Vincent's Transitional Care Clinic.

Flipping for Gymnastics

Local kids are flipping for gymnastics, which has WGV Gymnastics in St. Johns County expanding to meet the demand. Candi Smith of WGV Gymnastics and contractor Brad Hollett joined us in the studio with more.

Live Performance from Yemen Blues

They headline festivals all over the world. And Thursday at 7 p.m., the Tel Aviv-based fusion project Yemen Blues is performing for free (with registration) at the Jacksonville Jewish Center. They’re in town courtesy of local music promoter Avant. First Coast Connect listeners got a  preview of their performance live in Studio 5 this morning.

Photo used under Creative Commons license.

Heather Schatz can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @heatherschatz.