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Jax To Receive $500K Toward New Children's Health Initiative

Rhema Thompson

A $500,000 grant will go toward a new citywide effort to boost the number of children with health care.The grant is part of a National League of Cities initiative aimed at giving more families access to healthcare. Jacksonville was one of eight cities to be selected by the league.

Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Alvin Brown announced the new initiative along with the appointment of area State Rep. Mia Jones to help lead the effort. Jones will be the city’s first health commissioner.

“There are few people who are as knowledgeable or care as much about children’s health as Mia,” Brown said.

Jones will oversee the city’s campaign to reduce the number of uninsured children in Jacksonville.

“As we go forward, we have an opportunity to raise awareness and that’s really going to be the most important part of this,” she said.

Last year, NLC sponsored another initiative in Jacksonville to improve black male achievement. The program’s executive director Clarence Anthony is in town Wednesday to check on its progress.

“Jacksonville is developing programs that cities all over America are looking at what you’re doing and trying to mimic or duplicate some of the things that you’re doing,” he said.

The city will receive about $250,000 from the National League of Cities toward its latest healthcare effort this month. The Jacksonville Children’s Commission will donate another $40,000 in matching funds to the campaign. The initiative will also gain another $213,000 as in-kind donations.

You can follow Rhema Thompson on Twitter @RhemaThompson.

Rhema Thompson began her post at WJCT on a very cold day in January 2014 and left WJCT to join the team at The Florida Times Union in December 2014.