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The Clinton Foundation Launches Health Initiative On The First Coast

The Clinton Foundation has chosen Northeast Florida as the next location to launch its Clinton Health Matters Initiative,a community transformation model focused on improving the health and well-being of all Americans.

Jacksonville follows Houston, Central Arkansas, and California’s Coachella Valley as the next city to get the benefits of this project.

Our five county region has a growing senior population, and huge disparities in health outcomes- with some areas affluent and healthy, others poor and struggling.

"There are three strategic initiatives we're looking at," said Ashley Smith Juarez, CHMI’s new Northeast Florida Regional Director.

"To lower rates of preventable disease, such as lung and heart disease. To narrow health disparity gaps- to really level the playing field in terms of health outcomes.  And also, to lead the focus on wellness and prevention."

Juarez is also a member of the Duval County School Board.

Also, there is great disparity in health across the area. For example, St. Johns County ranks first in Florida for the health outcomes measured by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, while another, Baker County, ranks 62nd of 67 counties.

The Clinton Foundation worked with the PGA Tour and the Players Championship to select Northeast Florida as its next location. Each community in which CHMI works develops a Blueprint for Action, outlining bold actions to improve health. 

"It's exciting that the Clinton Foundation chose this region," says Smith Juarez. "We have a lot to work on, but there's a spirit of collaboration here that will be a huge part of this effort.

You can follow Melissa on Twitter @MelissainJax.

Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.