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September Music Events at Park Avenue Bistro

Fleming Island, FL — September will be filled with music as some of the most popular performers in the area return to perform at Park Avenue Bistro throughout the month. Each weekend, the fine dining restaurant offers live music performed by local singers and musicians in the Lounge.

The September line-up includes:

Fri., Sept. 4 – Wanda Dillaberry

Sat., Sept. 5 – Lorna Greenwood

Sat., Sept. 12 – Wanda Dillaberry

Fri., Sept. 18 – Robbie Trice

Sat., Sept. 19 – Lorna Greenwood

Fri., Sept. 25 – Robbie Trice

Sat., Sept. 26 – Wanda Dillaberry

Wanda Dillaberry has shared her beautiful voice and endearing spirit with thousands of people at many different venues and events. She has performed at major concerts featuring some of music’s top entertainers including Tim McGraw, Pam Tillis and Waylon Jennings.

Celebrated singer and musician Lorna Greenwood performs country and popular music. Greenwood, a Jacksonville resident, spent 20 years in Nashville, TN, performing as part of The New Vic Willis Trio and at the historic Grand Ole Opry Show.

Jacksonville native Robbie Trice is a seasoned singer, acoustic guitarist and songwriter who grew up in Jacksonville. Combining professional backing tracks with live guitar and vocals, he creates a “Peaceful, Easy Feeling” with the music of many favorites from the 60s through today.

For more information, and the latest schedule of events, visit the website at www.parkavbistro.com.

New Tuesday Menu

Starting in September, Park Avenue Bistro has expanded the Tuesday night “Terrific TWOsday” special. The new menu has several options diners may choose from for the 2-for-1 special, including bacon-wrapped filet, pan seared grouper, stuff flounder and more. The special includes salad and a glass of house wine at $39.99 per couple.

Park Avenue Bistro is located at 3535 US Highway 17 in Fleming Island, FL. The fine

dining restaurant offers dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and a Southern Sunday Lunch from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Park Avenue Bistro also provides full-service catering that includes food, table and chair rentals, tents, flowers, limousines and more.

Inspire Hope Gala to Benefit Mercy Support Services Set for Sept. 12

Annual Event Raises Funds to Help Displaced Families in Clay County

August 25, 2015, Orange Park, FL — Tickets and sponsorship packages are now available for the annual Inspire Hope Gala on Saturday, September 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hilltop Restaurant in Orange Park. The fundraising event will benefit Mercy Support Services programs for displaced families and children in Clay County, FL.

The annual event includes dinner and entertainment, as well as both a live and silent auction. Sponsorships are still available and range from $100 to $3,500. Individual tickets for the event are $125.00.

Mercy Support Services is a non-profit agency that assists families experiencing financial difficulties and helping them to achieve self sufficiency. Supportive programs include job training, family financial education, temporary housing and other assistance. Mercy coordinates with many other non-profit agencies in the region to assist those in need and reduce duplication of services. Through its call center, Mercy assigns each family a case manager to guide them through the process and help them achieve self sufficiency.

For more information, call 904.352.1164 or Email

sandra.Conklin@MercySupportServices.org.

 

 

Arc Surveying and Mapping Selected by Port of Canaveral for Surveying Contract

 

Melbourne, FL,  June 12, 2015 —  Arc Surveying & Mapping, Inc. has been selected by the Canaveral Port Authority to provide surveying services.

Arc, a high-tech surveying and mapping company based in Jacksonville, FL, was recently selected by the Canaveral Port Authority to provide multidiscipline lined surveys under a five-year services contract.

The Port of Canaveral is undergoing a large expansion project and is a major contender along the US east coast, attracting some of the world’s largest container ships. Canaveral has also become the port of choice for many cruise lines.

“Adding a rapidly expanding port such as Canaveral to our growing roster of port projects is an honor,” said John Sawyer, vice-president of Arc Surveying. “To be selected by Canaveral based on experience and qualifications is an indication that Arc’s mission to provide high quality surveys through the use of state-of-the-art equipment operated by professionally trained surveyors is working.” he said.

Arc is a professionally registered firm specializing in hydrographic and topographic surveys. The company utilizes precisely positioned, multi-beam swath systems, terrestrial laser scanners, and the latest in mapping equipment, and is considered an expert among peers and clients. Arc’s primary office is located in Jacksonville, FL and the Midwest office is located in Memphis, TN. The company’s area of service includes North, South and Central America, including the Caribbean.

For more information, contact info@arcsurveyors.com or visit www.arcsurveyors.com.

Live Music at Park Avenue Bistro November 29

Singer-Songwriter Lorna Greenwood to Perform

Fleming Island, FL, November 22, 2014 — Popular singer-songwriter Lorna Greenwood will perform at Park Avenue Bistro on Friday, November 29, starting at 6 p.m. This is a repeat performance for Greenwood, who is popular among the restaurant’s guests.

“Lorna is a fantastic performer and our guests regularly ask us when she is coming back,” said owner Connie Meyer. “She is such a great entertainer and we are fortunate to have someone of her caliber be able to perform for our guests.”

Greenwood, a Jacksonville resident, spent 20 years in Nashville, TN, performing as part of The New Vic Willis Trio and at the historic Grand Ole Opry Show. She toured with country singer Roger Whittaker as a featured violinist and vocalist for more than eight years in the U.S., Canada and Europe. In addition to violin, Greenwood plays the Native American love flute and has recorded numerous albums of her original compositions. She teaches voice and violin and offers career counseling and artist development services to those seeking a career in the music industry.

Park Avenue Bistro is located at 3535 US Highway 17 in Fleming Island, FL. The fine dining restaurant offers dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and a Sunday Brunch from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Park Avenue Bistro also provides full-service catering that includes food, table and chair rentals, tents, flowers, limousines and more. For more information or a menu, visit www.parkavbistro.com or call 904-375-8154.

What to Say (And Not Say!) When Talking to Adoptive Parents

November is Adoption Awareness Month

November 20, 2014, Jacksonville, FL — When a couple adopts a child, it often sparks many questions from friends and family, and some of those questions can be insensitive. Dr. Noelle Pomeroy, a Jacksonville therapist and also an adoptive parent, says people may mean well, but their comments can be hurtful.

“I am the mother of a 6-year-old daughter who has been part of our family since the moment she was born,” Dr. Pomeroy said. “We officially adopted her four months later. In addition to becoming a protective, terrified, and proud new mom at her birth, I also became sensitive to the way some people talked about my daughter because I did not give birth to her; assumptions that are made, language that is used. After speaking with other adoptive parents, I learned that our frustrations are similar.”

In honor of Adoption Awareness Month, here are some simple DOs and DON’Ts for speaking to parents of adopted children:

DON’T ask questions like, “Do you have any children of your own?” or “Wouldn’t you like a baby of your own?” This can feel like a stab to the heart for adoptive parents. “Children, regardless of birth, are our own,” said Dr. Pomeroy.

DON’T assume that adoptive mothers are mourning their inability to have a biological child. Some are struggling with that issue, some aren’t. In fact, some parents, like Dr. Pomeroy and her husband, had a shared dream to adopt and biological children were never part of their plan.

DO ask parents about what the adoption process was like. Parents who have biological children typically enjoy telling stories of their child’s birth. Adoptive parents also have their own adventures to tell.

DO understand that questions about an adoptive family’s relationship with the birth parents are personal in nature. Consider ahead of time whether you know someone well enough to ask such a personal question.

About Dr. Pomeroy

Noelle Pomeroy, Ph.D., LMHC is a clinical sexologist and licensed mental health counselor with Jacksonville Center for Sexual Health. She received her doctorate at the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists and her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of North Florida. In her practice, she helps clients with sex therapy, couples counseling, LGBT issues, postpartum counseling and individual counseling. She specializes in clinical sexology and postpartum depression counseling. Her practice includes individual, couples and group therapy. She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of North Florida.

For more information, contact Dr. Pomeroy at The Jacksonville Center for Sexual Health at (904) 383-7613 or visit jaxsexualhealth.com.

Arc Surveying and Mapping Acquires Memphis Surveying Firm

Jacksonville, FL, November 2014 —  Jacksonville-based Arc Surveying and Mapping, Inc. has acquired Loudenbeck Surveying, Inc. of Memphis, TN.

Loudenbeck provides topographic, construction and boundary surveying throughout the southeast and mid-south regions, with licenses in Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. Arc Surveying provides hydrographic, topographic and land surveys globally, specializing in ports, harbors, bridges and related hydrographic surveying.

Jeremy Loudenbeck, PLS will manage the combined company’s Midwest operations.

“Along with Loudenbeck Surveying’s experience in boundary, topographic, GPS, and construction surveying, the acquisition opens many avenues of expansion for Arc’s specialized hydrographic and laser scanning operations in the Midwest,” said John Sawyer, Vice President of Arc Surveying.

The new company will offer an enhanced range of services for  clients such as the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Transportation, Port Authorities and numerous construction contractors throughout the Mississippi River Basin.

For more information contact www.info@arcsurveyors.com or visit www.arcsureyors.com.

Park Avenue Bistro First Anniversary Celebration Set For November 22

Popular Performer John Shaffer Will Appear Live

Fleming Island, FL, November 14, 2014 — Fleming Island’s fine dining restaurant, Park Avenue Bistro, will celebrate its first anniversary with live music, door prizes and special menu items on Saturday, November 22, beginning at 5 p.m.

Guitarist and singer John Shaffer will perform starting at 6 p.m. with special Happy Hour cocktails beginning at 5 p.m. Door prizes donated by Dr. June Gentle, Chiropractor, and Phyllis Keep of Park Lane Jewelry will be given away throughout the evening.

“This has been an exciting year, and we have truly enjoyed serving our friends and neighbors in Fleming Island.” said owner Connie Meyer. “We wanted to thank all of our customers with a special party on Nov. 22, and invite them to join us for our celebration.”

Park Avenue Bistro serves fresh and healthy Italian and Mediterranean inspired dishes, created by chefs Tony Sarnelli and Johnathon Myktka. The lounge offers a tapas menu that complements the specialty cocktails, beer and wine. Park Avenue Bistro also provides catering throughout Northeast Florida.

Shaffer is an accomplished professional musician who has performed more than 10,000 times. In addition to guitar and vocals, he also performs on trumpet, sitar, bass, and sarod, a stringed instrument used in Indian classical music. Shaffer has performed with major musical acts including Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, George Winston, The Shirelles, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and more. He plays all styles of music including classical, jazz, latin, blues and flamenco.

Park Avenue Bistro is located at 3535 US Highway 17 in Fleming Island, FL. The fine dining restaurant offers dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and a Sunday Brunch from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Park Avenue Bistro also provides full-service catering that includes food, table and chair rentals, tents, flowers, limousines and more. For more information or a menu, visit www.parkavbistro.com or call 904-375-8154.

Live Music at Park Avenue Bistro Nov. 8

Popular Performer John Shaffer Will Appear

Fleming Island, FL, October 29, 2014 — Guitarist and singer John Shaffer will perform at Park Avenue Bistro on Saturday, November 8, starting at 6 p.m.

“John performed for us recently and it was a huge success” said owner Connie Meyer. “He plays a wonderful variety of music, and our guests truly enjoyed his performance. We are very happy to have him back with us again.”

Shaffer is an accomplished professional musician who has performed more than 10,000 times. In addition to guitar and vocals, he also performs on trumpet, sitar, bass, and sarod, a stringed instrument used in Indian classical music. Shaffer has performed with major musical acts including Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, George Winston, The Shirelles, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and more. He plays all styles of music including classical, jazz, latin, blues and flamenco.

Park Avenue Bistro is located at 3535 US Highway 17 in Fleming Island, FL. The fine dining restaurant offers dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and a Sunday Brunch from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Park Avenue Bistro also provides full-service catering that includes food, table and chair rentals, tents, flowers, limousines and more. For more information or a menu, visit www.parkavbistro.com or call 904-375-8154.

Local Therapist Explains How to Recognize Postpartum Depression

October 27, Jacksonville, FL — The smiling faces of new moms and their adorable babies on Facebook or Instagram can sometimes mask a less joyful experience – postpartum depression. According to the American Psychological Association, about 22% of new mothers will experience postpartum depression. Local therapist Dr. Noelle Pomeroy says the illness often is accompanied by shame and guilt.

“I meet several postpartum women in my office every month who are feeling shame and guilt about the negative feelings that come with stress and big life changes, such as having to care for a helpless newborn,” Dr. Pomeroy said. “I find that a lot of that shame and guilt comes from false beliefs: the belief that other moms aren’t struggling; the belief that other moms are always just as happy and confident as they appear on social media.”

That pretty picture painted in television, movies and on social media is a skewed portrait of the true experience of new mothers, she said.

“What we don’t see is the other side of being a new mom: exhaustion, frustration, and being overwhelmed. Perhaps it’s because we don’t see other mothers experiencing the hard parts of motherhood that when we have those experiences, we tend to keep it to ourselves and rarely seek help. In my research with mothers who experienced sadness and/or depression after childbirth, less than half of new moms ever talked to anyone about it. Not their doctors, not their friends, not even their partners,” said Dr. Pomeroy.

Seeking help is important, because without treatment postpartum depression can last for months or years, she said. Not only does it affect the mother, but it can also interfere with the bonding process between mom and baby. Counseling and sometimes medication can help the mom – and dad – cope with the stresses of becoming new parents.

“It’s true that being a new mom can be exciting, rewarding, and life-changing but we need to be more open about the times we want to cry, scream, or run away and change our names,” Dr. Pomeroy said. “Being a mom is hard! Sometimes it seems like you have no idea what you’re doing, but you are not alone and you are completely normal.”

Of course, many new moms will experience temporary sadness or feeling tired and down, but there is a difference between the “baby blues” and clinical postpartum depression, Dr. Pomeroy said. Knowing the signs of postpartum depression is especially important for new moms and their families.

Ongoing feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or being overwhelmed

Severe mood swings

Oversleeping or being unable to sleep

Intense irritability, anger or rage

Feelings of guilt, shame or constantly doubting the ability to care for the baby

Trouble concentrating, making decisions or remembering details

Withdrawing from friends or family

Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed

Physical aches and pains, headaches

Trouble forming an emotional attachment with the baby

Thinking about harming yourself or your baby

Postpartum depression affects not only new mothers, but also can affect men and the baby. Babies can become withdrawn, insecure, develop behavioral problems or even have a higher risk of depression or anxiety as they mature. Fathers also can become depressed, especially if they are unsatisfied with the marriage or with life after the baby is born. Mothers who experienced postpartum depression with a previous birth are at a higher risk for developing it again.

Dr. Pomeroy emphasizes that, while feelings of sadness and worry are normal for anyone in 12 months following the birth of a child, if a new mother is having thoughts about harming herself, the child, or anyone, it is important to seek medical or mental health attention immediately. The simplest way to do this is to call 911.

About Dr. Pomeroy

Noelle Pomeroy, Ph.D., LMHC is a clinical sexologist and licensed mental health counselor with Jacksonville Center for Sexual Health. She received her doctorate at the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists and her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of North Florida. In her practice, she helps clients with sex therapy, couples counseling, LGBT issues, postpartum counseling and individual counseling. She specializes in clinical sexology and postpartum depression counseling. Her practice includes individual, couples and group therapy. She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of North Florida.

For more information, contact Dr. Pomeroy at The Jacksonville Center for Sexual Health at (904) 383-7613 or visit jaxsexualhealth.com.

From Crawling to Independence

Meet Suen Oke on October 29

Suen Oke, a Nigerian woman with polio, will be at Penney Retirement Community to tell her story. Her life was changed by an all-terrain wheelchair – a Personal Energy Transportation device, or PET. Residents of Penney Retirement Community volunteer their time to build the self-propelled PET devices for individuals like Suen Oke around the world who are unable to walk due to illness or injury from land mines or war.

PET International is sponsoring this trip for Suen (Shay-OON) to raise awareness of the tremendous need for mobility around the world. The 23 PET Affiliate work sites in the US produce about 5,000 PETs per year, which does not begin to meet the need of millions who need the transportation devices.

You are invited to Barrows Hall on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. to

hear her story and also learn about some new ventures of PET – FL  at Penney Retirement Community.

For more information, contact Kathy Berger at 904.531.7032 or Email kberger@penneyretirementcommunity.org.

October and November Mental Health First Aid Class Registrations Open

Specialized Classes for Youth & Military Offered

October 21, Yulee, FL – Registration is open for two upcoming Mental Health First Aid classes sponsored by Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare. The October class is specifically for youth mental health issues and the November class is designed for mental health issues faced by veterans, members of the military and their families.

The Youth Mental Health First Aid class will be offered from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 30, at the Fernandina Beach Police Department Community Room, 1525 Lime St. in Fernandina Beach. The cost of the class is $50 and it is open to the public. To register, visit MHFANassau.com.

The Military Mental Health First Aid class will be offered on Monday, November 17, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Ark of Nassau, 86051 Hamilton St., in Yulee. The cost of the class is $25. To register, visit MHFANassau.com and use promo code MILITARY.

Mental Health First Aid trains individuals to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness. It is an eight-hour training certification course that teaches participants a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions and secure appropriate care for the individual. The certification program introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common treatments. 

Like First Aid or CPR training, the Mental Health First Aid program teaches individuals skills they can use to help someone in a crisis and know how to direct them to professional intervention or care. Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based program now available in more than 20 states and in 20 countries around the world.

For more information or for a calendar of available classes, visit www.MHFANassau.com or call Starting Point at 904.225.8280.    

About Starting Point

Starting Point Behavioral Health provides mental health and substance abuse treatment services to children, teens and adults in the Fernandina Beach, Yulee, Hilliard and Nassau County, FL region. Serving more than 3,700 individuals each year, Starting Point is a non-profit agency. For more information, visit www.spbh.org.

Penney Retirement Community to Hold Arts & Crafts Sale Nov. 7 & 8

Penney Farms, FL, September 19, 2014 — Just in time for holiday shopping, Penney Retirement Community’s (PRC) Annual Arts & Crafts Sale will be held Friday, November 7 from 9 am until 4 pm, and Saturday, November 8, from 9 a.m. until Noon.

Carrying the theme, “Art from the Heart,” this year’s event will offer for sale a wide range of beautiful and skillfully handcrafted articles, items, and objets d’art created by PRC residents, many of whom have served in ministries around the world. 

In addition to the wide range of articles available for purchase, this year’s sale will offer:

Hotdogs and hamburgers available for lunch on Friday

The ability to charge purchases of $25 or more, and

“Open Houses” – tours of PRC homes for those who may be interested in learning more about why PRC is the best-kept secret in Northeast Florida.  Maps of the community also will be available for those who wish to conduct their own self-guided tours of the campus.

PRC will also have a Silent Auction table — Art from the Heart — featuring a selection of special artisan items created by PRC artists. Proceeds from the Silent Auction will benefit the Residents’ Aid Fund. 

PRC is located on State Road 16 in the Town of Penney Farms. Once inside the community, signs will direct visitors to the sale. Admission and parking is free. For more information about our Annual Arts & Crafts Sale event, please contact PRC’s Arts &  Crafts office at 904/284-7328.

About Penney Retirement Community

Almost 90 years old, Penney Retirement Community is a Christian-based, not-for-profit, continuing-care retirement community. It is located in the town of Penney Farms, FL on S.R. 16 at the intersection of C.R 218 along the J.C. Penney Memorial Highway. The active retirement community includes a host of amenities and a diverse community on a 200-acre campus that includes a golf course.

For more information about PRC, please call 904/284-5994 or visit www.penneyretirementcommunity.org.

Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare Introduces Youth Mental Health First Aid to Nassau County

Nassau County Joins National Initiative to Increase Mental Health Literacy

Yulee, FL, September 2, 2014 Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare is launching a new Youth Mental Health First Aid program in Nassau County. The agency will train adults who interact with teens to improve mental health literacy by helping them identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness in an adolescent. Nassau County’s first Youth Mental Health First Aid training will be held in October (9th and 10th) at the Fernandina Beach Police Department.

“We are thrilled to bring the youth Mental Health First Aid training to our community,” said Dr. Laureen Pagel, CEO of Starting Point. “This important educational effort goes beyond emergency intervention; it really helps people understand the myths and misperceptions facing youth who experience mental health challenges. It will help rid this community of the associated stigma and move more and more people to understanding the resiliency of our young people.”

Youth Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour training certification course designed for parents, family members, teachers, healthcare workers and other concerned citizens who work with youth (ages 12-18). The program teaches participants a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions and secure appropriate care for the young person who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis.

Studies have proven the CPR-like program is effective in improving knowledge of mental disorders, reducing stigma and increasing the amount of help provided to others. 

Starting Point staff members Carrie Anderson-Mays and Katrina Robinson-Wheeler were certified by the National Council to provide the Youth Mental Health First Aid program in August 2014 through an instructor certification course in Atlanta, GA. The two instructors have been teaching Adult Mental Health First Aid in Nassau County since February 2014. More than 50 community members and 30 police officers have received the certification.

Mental Health First Aid training classes are offered via open community classes or scheduled individually for groups and organizations. For more information or to participate in a training, visit mhfanassau.com or call Starting Point at 904.225.8280.    

About Starting Point

Starting Point Behavioral Health provides mental health and substance abuse treatment services to children, teens and adults in the Fernandina Beach, Yulee, Hilliard and Nassau County, FL region. Serving more than 3,700 individuals each year, Starting Point is a non-profit agency.

About The National Council

The National Council for Behavioral Health is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) association of 2,000+ behavioral healthcare organizations that provide treatment and rehabilitation for mental illnesses and addictions disorders to nearly seven million adults, children and families in communities across the country. The National Council and its members bear testimony to the fact that medical, social, psychological and rehabilitation services offered in community setting

 

The Jacksonville Original Music Fest to Host 2nd Annual Downtown Event

August 22, 2014, Jacksonville, FL — The Songwriters Showcases of America will be presenting the 2nd Annual Jacksonville Original Music & Art Festival on Saturday, October 4, at multiple indoor and outdoor stages throughout the downtown district. The event will consist of over 125 acts at 14 or more stage locations.

The main locations for the event will be held at the Jacksonville Landing, which will feature 8 stages consisting of two main stages. In addition to these stages the event will be expanding its event this year by adding other outside main stages by closing off portions of Laura St. , Adams St. and stages at Hemming Plaza. These new location will create a more street party like atmosphere for the event which will will consists of multiple stages, food vendors, and art displays as well as other misc vendors and entertainment. Other stage locations will be held at nearby venues throughout the Elbow and surrounding entertainment district including Underbelly, North Star, 1904 Music Hall, Burro Bar and The Volstead among others to be announced.

The festival will feature a wide array of musical styles from mostly local and regional acts for all ages to enjoy consisting of Rock, Jazz, Blues, Country, Bluegrass, Hip Hop, Electronica, Industrial, Folk, Metal, Ska and more, The events main mission is to create a family fun festival atmosphere and to enhance Jacksonville’s thriving downtown live music and art scene.

Discounted Advanced All Venue VIP Passes are on sale online at www.ssa.cc. The All Venue Passes enables attendees access to all the VIP seating areas as well as access to all the venues and stages that require an admission. Tickets are $10 Advance or $15 on the day of the event. Children ages 12 and under are FREE. The Event will be held RAIN OR SHINE.

The SSA has been producing music events and festivals since 1999 including DeLand, Daytona and Orlando and NYC. For more information on this event including a list of acts performing and map of stages in addition to the SSA go to http://www.ssa.ccacts performing and map of stages in addition to the SSA go to http://www.ssa.cc

Jacksonville Original Music Festival

Presented by Songwriters Showcases of America

Saturday, October 4, 2014 1PM – 1 AM

Over 125 Acts Performing on 14 Stages

Downtown Jacksonville

(The Landing, Laura St Main Stage, Underbelly, NorthStar and other venues/stages)

A Monumental Celebration of the Creativity In Music

DISCOUNT TICKETS (All Venue VIP Pass)

$10 Advance or $15 at the Gate Day of Show

Children ages 12 & under FREE

Some Venues are ages 21 & up

HELD RAIN OR SHINE

Contact: 386-308-2694 or http://www.ssa.cc

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1438951149712315/

Sponsored By: Omni Hotel (Host Hotel), ARBUS Magazine, The Money Pages,

Coors Light, The Elbow, Deppe Communications

 

Celebrating Recovery in Jacksonville

September is Recovery Month

August 21, 2014, Jacksonville, FL — Three Jacksonville organizations are planning events during September to celebrate National Recovery Month, a time to talk about addiction to drugs and alcohol, and recognize those who have overcome their addictions. This year’s theme is Prevention Works, Treatment is Effective, People Recover.

River Region Human Services, Gateway Community Services and Lakeview Health Systems are joining together for a series of activities in Jacksonville during the month. Those activities culminate with a community Recovery Walk on September 13. The Recovery Walk begins at 8 a.m. on Park Street and continues to The Landing. National Recovery Month is intended to support people in recovery and draw attention to critical prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.

“Recovery Month events emphasize the importance of seeking physical and mental wellness every day, through multiple pathways and throughout the recovery process, to achieve health and well-being,” said Kenneth Arnold, one of the event organizers. “It is critical that people experiencing mental and/or substance use disorders receive the support they need from the community.  The reality is that behavioral health is essential to health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover.”

In 2012, 43.7 million people aged 18 or older had a mental illness according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual survey released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  However, only 34.1 million people received mental health services. In addition, 23.1 million people aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem in 2012, but only 3.8 million received treatment at a specialty for a substance use disorder.

Recovery Month is a national observance sponsored by SAMHSA, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The observance, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, raises awareness of mental and substance use disorders, celebrates individuals in long-term recovery, and acknowledges the work of prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.

Other Jacksonville activities will include:

The September 3 Art Walk beginning at 6 p.m. at the Magnificent Cafe’, 231 N. Laura Street in Downtown Jacksonville;

Second Annual Talent Show at Gateway Community Services, 555 Stockton St., beginning at 7 p.m. on September 4; and

A Block Party at River Region Alumni House, 940 Bridier St., starting at 5 p.m. on September 26.

Each year, Jacksonville’s behavioral health providers celebrate National Recovery Month with local events. For more information contact Kenneth Arnold at (904) 899-6300, ext. 4603.

September Mental Health First Aid Class Registrations Now Open

August 13, 2014, Yulee, FL – Registration is now open for the next Mental Health First Aid class sponsored by Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare on September 25 and 26. The class will be held from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. both days at the Fernandina Beach Police Department Community Room. The cost of the class is $50 per person and it is open to the public. Attendance at both sessions is necessary to complete the certification. To register, visit MHFANassau.com.

Mental Health First Aid trains individuals to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness. It is an eight-hour training certification course that teaches participants a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions and secure appropriate care for the individual. The certification program introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common treatments.

Mental Health First Aid helps people understand the shroud of fear and misjudgment facing individuals and families who experience mental illnesses and addiction. It helps participants overcome the associated stigma and move more and more people toward recovery.

Like First Aid or CPR training, the Mental Health First Aid program teaches individuals skills they can use to help someone in a crisis and know how to direct them to professional intervention or care. Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based program now available in more than 20 states and in 20 countries around the world.

For more information or to participate in a Mental Health First Aid training in Nassau County, visit www.MHFANassau.com or call Starting Point at 904.225.8280.    

Starting Point Behavioral Health provides mental health and substance abuse treatment services to children, teens and adults in the Fernandina Beach, Yulee, Hilliard and Nassau County, FL region. Serving more than 3,700 individuals each year, Starting Point is a non-profit agency. For more information, visit www.spbh.org.

Self-Care is Local Woman’s Key to Living with Hepatitis

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day

July 21 2014, Jacksonville, FL — After years of living a risky and addicted lifestyle, Ronda was somewhat surprised to be diagnosed with a lifelong chronic illness at age 35. While she was well into recovery from her addiction, the diagnosis of hepatitis came with a thought. “I felt like God was telling me I couldn’t have come out of this unscathed,” she said. “It was a moment of clarity, that these are the consequences of the choices I had made.”

Ronda will never know how she contracted hepatitis. In fact, it could have nothing at all to do with her previous lifestyle. However, the behaviors and her addiction increased her risk of infection.

Monday, July 28, 2014 is World Hepatitis Day and River Region Human Services is planning free testing and education to raise awareness in the Jacksonville community. Ronda recently shared her story to underscore the importance of knowing the risks of this serious disease.

Hepatitis is a virus that can go undetected for many years because it typically has few, or no, symptoms. Nearly 72,000 Americans become infected every year, usually by contact with blood or through sexual contact. Hepatitis B and C can become a lifelong, chronic condition that causes serious liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer and even death; however, most people with chronic hepatitis can live for many years without serious symptoms. There are multiple types of Hepatitis such as A, B and C which are contracted in different ways but all can result in permanent liver damage. Vaccines for A and B are available and have resulted in dramatic decreases in Hepatitis A over the last 20 years.

For Ronda, living with Hepatitis has helped her realize how important it is to take care of her health. Ironically, Ronda spent time as a health educator helping others to control their risks, while coping with her own diagnosis. Modeling healthy living, she sees her doctor regularly and gets checked annually to monitor the hepatitis. For a while, she participated in a clinical trial to test the effectiveness of various medications, but found the side effects to be too much to handle, causing her to withdraw from the trial.

Her diagnosis has not held her back. Ronda completed her Master’s degree and now spends time advocating the benefits of being tested for all sexually transmitted diseases. “I believe that once you have the information, you are responsible for that information. It becomes a conscious choice to either take care of yourself, or not,” Ronda says. She emphasizes that the risk of contracting any type of hepatitis goes beyond risky behaviors, and includes everyday things like surgery or dental work – even eating foods that has been contaminated with the virus. As many as 75% of those infected do not know they have hepatitis; regular medical care and testing is critical.

“I encourage people to see a doctor if they have health concerns, or have a Hepatitis diagnosis. I guide them to their healthcare provider. I also encourage them to use Google, WebMD, or other resources to gain insight about hepatitis,” Ronda says.

“Be good to yourself,” Ronda advises, “and establish a solid, open relationship with your healthcare provider. Be informed about all of your options.”

Today, Ronda’s level of infection remains the same as it was when she was first diagnosed in the late 1990s. By taking an active role in her healthcare, she has managed the disease and continuously monitors it. But she says the early days were difficult. “At first, I was mad. I felt like damaged goods,” she says. “I felt like no one would want me. I was wrong, actually. Because I was in recovery when I was diagnosed, I opted to take care of myself. I knew if I stayed clean, I would have more options open to me. It’s like high blood pressure or diabetes. You live with it.”

Free Hepatitis testing is available Monday through Friday, by appointment, at the Duval County Health Department, 515 West 6th Street. To schedule, call 904-253-1861. Free tests also are available at the Immunization Center, 5220 N. Pearl St., on the first and third Mondays of the month from 9 a.m. until Noon. No appointment is necessary.

For more information about Hepatitis, visit www.rrhs.org

About River Region Human Services

River Region Human Services, Inc. was established in 1972 as a private, non-profit 501-©-3 corporation to provide a comprehensive array of services for persons residing in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns Counties. River Region has been licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services since its incorporation, is registered with the Secretary of State and the City of Jacksonville as a charitable organization, and has been nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation and Rehabilitation (CARF) since 1993. Learn more at www.rrhs.org.

Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare Completes First Community ‘Mental Health First Aid’ Training

Similar to ‘First Aid’ and CPR, ‘Mental Health First Aid’ teaches individuals how to help those experiencing mental health challenges or crises

Yulee, FL, July 15, 2014 —  Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare completed its first community Mental Health First Aid training session July 11, certifying 19 members of the community who completed the 8-hour training course. Mental Health First Aid instructors Carrie Anderson Mays and Katrina Robinson-Wheeler of Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare trained the first graduating class, which included Guardian At Litems, concerned citizens, business owners and local clergy.

Mental health challenges – such as depression, anxiety, psychosis and substance use – are common in the United States. In fact, more than one in five American adults will have a mental health problem in any given year. The National Council for Behavioral Health certifies individuals throughout the nation, including Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare, to provide Mental Health First Aid courses to prepare their communities with the knowledge and skills to help those who are developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training helps the public better identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses.

The next community training will be offered on September 25 and 26, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Attendance at both sessions is required to complete the course. The Mental Health First Aid class will be held at the Fernandina Beach Police Department Community Room at 1525 Lime St. The cost for the class is $50 per person.

To register for this, or other upcoming classes, visit www.MHFANassau.com.

Clay Behavioral Health Center Wins United Way Summit Award

Orange Park, FL, June 27, 2014 — Clay Behavioral Health Center was presented with the United Way’s Summit Award on June 12 at the United Way of Northeast Florida’s Good in Every Neighborhood luncheon. CEO Irene Toto accepted the award for “Spirit, Involvement and Leadership” in the Non-Profit Division of the annual United Way campaign.

“Our staff did a tremendous job in helping us reach a new level of participation in United Way,” Toto said. “They showed once again how committed they are to the Clay County community not only through their daily work, but through their giving, as well.”

Clay Behavioral Health Center is a nonprofit agency that provides mental health and substance abuse services to adults, teens, children and families in Clay County. For more information, visit the website at www.ccbhc.org or call 904.291.5561.

Former Sarnelli’s Owners Join Park Avenue Bistro Staff

Fleming Island, FL, June 23, 2014 — The former owners of two well-known Orange Park restaurants have recently joined the staff at Park Avenue Bisto in Fleming Island. Rosaria and Tony Sarnelli, former owners of Manny’s and Sarnelli’s, have joined the team of Fleming Island’s only fine dining restaurant.

Tony Sarnelli joins Chef Jonathon Mykitka in the kitchen, which features fresh and healthy Mediterranean cuisine. Rosaria is the Dining Room Manager for Park Avenue Bistro.

Co-owner Kenney Lane said he is happy to have the Sarnelli’s join the team and that many people have of their long-time customers have been looking for them. “I have really enjoyed getting to know them, and I feel privileged that they wanted to work with us,” Lane said. “I want to give them a very warm welcome and let our community know that Tony and Rosaria are back!”

Connie Meyer, co-owner of Park Avenue Bistro and manager of the restaurant, said the addition of Rosaria means she can concentrate on building the catering business. “We have an extended, full-service catering business,” she said, “ and we host many special events such as wedding receptions, group events, birthdays and other occasions.”

Park Avenue Bistro is located at 3535 US Highway 17 in Fleming Island, FL. The fine dining restaurant offers dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and a Sunday Brunch from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Park Avenue Bistro also provides full-service catering that includes food, table and chair rentals, tents, flowers, limousines and more. For more information or a menu, visit www.parkavbistro.com or call 904-375-8154.

River Region to Host Free Community Health Fair on June 28

Jacksonville, FL – June 17, 2014 — Free health screenings and information will be available at a day-long Community Health Fair in the Justina area on June 28. Sponsored by River Region Human Services, the “Take the Test. Take Control” event will include  free testing for STDs (sexually-transmitted diseases) and HIV/AIDS and information about making smart choices for a healthy lifestyle.

The event will be held from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at 3103-3 Justina Road in Jacksonville. The health fair is free and open to the public.

In addition to testing, River Region and its community partners will be providing information about preventing and treating substance abuse and mental illness. There also will be information about transitional and permanent housing for homeless individuals who are coping with any of these health problems.

River Region Human Services, Inc. was established in 1972 as a private, non-profit 501-(c)-3 corporation to provide a comprehensive array of services for persons residing in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns Counties. River Region has been licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services since its incorporation, is registered with the Secretary of State and the City of Jacksonville as a charitable organization, and has been nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation and Rehabilitation (CARF) since 1993. Learn more at www.rrhs.org.

 

River Region Human Services Holds Town Hall Meeting to Prevent Underage Drinking

“We Choose to be Sober” is the Theme

May 20, 2014, Jacksonville, FL — As part of National Prevention Week, River Region Human Services will host a Town Hall and Luncheon on Saturday, May 24, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., at 2055 Reyko Rd., Jacksonville.

The program will provide education and information for all families with teens ages 12 to 18, but especially for adolescents in foster care, group homes, enrolled in SIPP programs, attending alternative schools, or involved with juvenile justice.

As part of a national effort to decrease underage drinking, the program targets teens in middle and high school who are at the highest risk of alcohol and drug abuse. The program will include representatives from the Prevention Coalition, the Duval County Health Department and River Region nursing. Students will participate in an activity called “Tag It: Above the Influence” and a trivia game with information about underage drinking.

The program is free and open to the public. Please contact Dietangal Heard at 904-924-1551, ext. 402 or Stephanie Bosh at 904-924-1551, ext. 403 for more information or to RSVP.

National Prevention Week is a program of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and is dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues.

Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare Introduces Mental Health First Aid to Nassau County, FL

Nassau County Joins National Initiative to Increase Mental Health Literacy

Yulee, FL Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare has launched the first Mental Health First Aid program in Nassau County, Florida. The non-profit behavioral health agency in Yulee has begun training local residents to improve mental health literacy by helping them identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness. 

The National Council certified two staff members at Starting Point Behavioral Health to provide the Mental Health First Aid program through an instructor certification course. Carrie Anderson Mays and Katrina Robinson Wheeler conducted the first training in March 2014 for Starting Points Board of Directors. They are scheduling additional training for first responders, law enforcement officers, educators, health care workers and other members of the public who are interested in the training.

We are very excited to bring Mental Health First Aid to our community,said Laureen Pagel, Ph.D, CEO of Starting Point.  This important educational effort goes a lot further than emergency intervention; it really helps people understand the shroud of fear and misjudgment facing individuals and families who experience mental illnesses and addiction. It will help overcome the associated stigma and move more and more people toward recovery.

Pagel noted that, like First Aid or CPR training, the Mental Health First Aid program teaches individuals skills they can use to assist someone in a crisis and know how to direct them to professional intervention or care.

Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour training certification course that teaches participants a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions and secure appropriate care for the individual. The certification program introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common treatments. Thorough evaluations in randomized controlled trials and a quantitative study have proved the CPR-like program effective in improving traineesknowledge of mental disorders, reducing stigma and increasing the amount of help provided to others. 

We welcome Starting Points involvement and enthusiasm in the Mental Health First Aid community,  says Linda Rosenberg, MSW, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, the organization who brought Mental Health First Aid to the United States in 2008.  We know they will have a great impact on the mental health communities throughout Nassau County and the First Coast, and will be key players in improving mental health literacy nationwide.

In its pilot year, the program was introduced in nearly 20 states and more than 40 communities nationwide.   Starting Point, and all the sites across the nation that replicate this program, maintain strict fidelity to the original, proven program. 

Mental Health First Aid originated in 2001 in Australia under the direction of founders Betty Kitchener and Tony Jorm. To date, it has been replicated in 20 other countries worldwide, including Hong Kong, Scotland, England, Canada, Finland, and Singapore.

For more information or to participate in a Mental Health First Aid training in Nassau County, visit www.spbh.org or call Starting Point at 904.225.8280.    

Starting Point Behavioral Health provides mental health and substance abuse treatment services to children, teens and adults in the Fernandina Beach, Yulee, Hilliard and Nassau County, FL region. Serving more than 3,700 individuals each year, Starting Point is a non-profit agency.

The National Council for Behavioral Health is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) association of 2,000+ behavioral healthcare organizations that provide treatment and rehabilitation for mental illnesses and addictions disorders to nearly seven million adults, children and families in communities across the country. The National Council and its members bear testimony to the fact that medical, social, psychological and rehabilitation services offered in community settings help people with mental illnesses and addiction disorders recover and lead productive lives. 

 

River Region Human Services Marks National HIV Testing Day With Health Fair and Free Testing

Testing to Be Offered at Local Walgreens Stores

May 15, 2014, Jacksonville, FL River Region Human Services is offering a Community Health Fair and free HIV Testing days throughout Jacksonville as part of the National HIV Testing Day on June 27. River Region is partnering with local Walgreens stores to offer free HIV testing on June 26, 27 and 28, as well as on a drop-in or appointment basis at River Regions Park Street location.

Duval County, FL has one of the highest incidence rates of HIV infection in the state, according to a recent CDC report, and a 2011 CNN report cited CDC statistics showing Jacksonville with the fifth-highest number of AIDS diagnoses among all cities in the country. Duval is one of eight counties in the state with between 0.19 and 0.38 percent of its population infected with HIV. An estimated 2,360 people in Duval County are living with HIV and another 6,240 are living with AIDS. Of those, 30% are women, 64% are Black and 37% are between the ages of 30 and 39.

A free Community Health Fair will be held on Saturday, June 28, at 3101-3 Justina Road, Jacksonville. In addition to food and music, free HIV testing and health information will be available. Sponsored by River Region, a number of community partners also will be participating in the event. The event is part of River Regions New Media, New Messages (NM2) program that uses social media and community partnerships to reach young African Americans in Jacksonville with substance abuse and HIV prevention messaging. Part of a national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant, the NM2 project aims to decrease prejudice and discrimination by giving those at risk of contracting HIV the opportunity to share their stories online, allowing positive interaction with others in their community and encouraging healthy behaviors. 

Free HIV Testing will be offered from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 26 and Friday, June 27, as well as Saturday, June 28 from 10.m. until 2 p.m. at the following locations:

Walgreens

5340 Soutel Drive

Jacksonville, FL 32219

Walgreens

5108 Norwood Avenue

Jacksonville, FL 32208

Walgreens

3604 Blanding Blvd. at Wilson

Jacksonville, FL 32210

Walgreens

6006 Beach Blvd.

Jacksonville, FL 32216

No appointment is required for the testing.

In addition, free HIV testing will be offered at the Get Inspired 5K Run on Saturday, June 28, from 7 a.m. until Noon in Hemming Plaza in downtown Jacksonville.

Drop-in testing is available Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. until Noon, at 382 Park Street. In addition, afternoon appointments are available at that location by calling 904-899-6300, ext. 4470. For anyone who is HIV positive, information and introductory care will be provided.

About River Region

River Region Human Services, Inc. was established in 1972 as a private, non-profit 501-(c)-3 corporation to provide a comprehensive array of services for residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns counties. River Region has been licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services since its incorporation, is registered with the Secretary of State and the City of Jacksonville as a charitable organization, and has been nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation and Rehabilitation (CARF) since 1993. Learn more at www.rrhs.org.

Specialized Training in Mental Health First Aid For Law Enforcement, Corrections & Public Safety Now Available in Nassau County

May 14, 2014, Yulee, FL Starting Point’s Mental Health First Aid trainers recently completed specialized training to offer the program for law enfacement, corrections and public safety officers. Katrina Wheeler Robinson and Carrie Anderson Mays completed the training recently, which includes specific strategies for those in the law enforcement arena.

For a number of reasons, individuals experiencing mental illness and substance use disorders often have more contact with the criminal justice system than the general population does. Thus, the better prepared officers and staff are to respond effectively and appropriately, the more likely the interaction will be a positive one.

Mental Health First Aid now offers a tailored supplement which builds upon the effectiveness of the standard Mental Health First Aid curriculum by focusing on the unique experiences and needs of law enforcement, corrections, and public safety audiences.

Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour training certification course that teaches participants a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions and secure appropriate care for the individual. The certification program introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common treatments. Thorough evaluations in randomized controlled trials and a quantitative study have proved the CPR-like program effective in improving traineesknowledge of mental disorders, reducing stigma and increasing the amount of help provided to others. 

For more information or to participate in a Mental Health First Aid training in Nassau County, visit www.spbh.org or call Starting Point at 904.225.8280.   

About Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare

Starting Point Behavioral Health provides mental health and substance abuse treatment services to children, teens and adults in the Fernandina Beach, Yulee, Hilliard and Nassau County, FL region. Serving more than 3,700 individuals each year, Starting Point is a non-profit agency.

River Region Marks National Prevention Week With Suicide Prevention Event

May 14, 2014, Jacksonville, FL River Region Human Services will be hosting a  Suicide Prevention Awareness event at  the Jacksonville Suns game on Thursday, May 22nd as part of National Prevention Week 2014. National Prevention Week is dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues.

National Prevention Week echoes a key message of the U.S. Surgeon Generals National Prevention Strategy, emphasizing that prevention should be woven into all aspects of our lives including where and how we live, learn, work, and play and that everyone has a role in creating a healthier nation. At the Suns event, River Region staff will share information about preventing suicide to those attending the game, and be on hand to answer questions.

River Region recognizes that the choices people make and the conversations they have in their everyday lives are key to healthy communities and futures. To encourage healthy living and decision-making, River Region is partnering with the Jacksonville Suns to host this event.

In addition, River Region staff will be sharing messages about preventing underage drinking, prescription drug abuse and marijuana use with local high school students during the week.

River Region Human Services is proud to be one of many organizations around the country that are encouraging people to make a difference in their communities and lives as part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSAs) National Prevention Week 2014. During this week, River Region

will recognize important prevention successes, focus on areas that need improvement, and build bridges to partners who care deeply about creating a better community.

About River Region

River Region Human Services, Inc. was established in 1972 as a private, non-profit 501-(c)-3 corporation to provide a comprehensive array of services for residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns counties. River Region has been licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services since its incorporation, is registered with the Secretary of State and the City of Jacksonville as a charitable organization, and has been nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation and Rehabilitation (CARF) since 1993. Learn more at www.rrhs.org.

Park Avenue Bistro in Fleming Island Expands With New Dinner Menu and Event Catering

Fleming Island, FL, April 10, 2014 — Fleming Island restaurant owners Connie Meyer and Kenney Lane have expanded their popular Sunday brunch and luncheon menu at Park Avenue Bistro, and are now offering fresh and healthy Mediterranean cuisine for dinner Thursday through Sunday. In addition, Park Avenue Bistro is launching a full service catering service.

The new catering service is available for corporate events, weddings, birthday parties and other functions. Park Avenue Bistro can assist event planners with rentals for tables, chairs, tents, dishes and other items, as well as help with related activities such as limousines and flowers.

“We wanted to bring the full Park Avenue Bistro experience to our catering events,” Lane said, adding, “This makes it easier for party planners who can make one call for all the arrangements.”

The expanded menu includes fresh fish, seafood, beef and chicken dishes, as well as fresh salads and pasta created by Chefs Johnathon Mykytka and Brent Winecoff. In the lounge, a tapas menu compliments specialty cocktails, beer and wines.

The new dinner menu at Park Avenue Bistro includes a Chicken Provencal topped with olives, garlic, tomatoes and herbs de Provence, and is one of the most popular menu items, according to Lane. A fresh Mediterranean Vegetable Pasta is also popular, he said, and the catch of the day is serviced either Greek or Spanish style. Gluten free choices are also available on the menu.

The fine dining restaurant brings a new Mediterranean approach to the area. Located at 3535 US Highway 17 in Fleming Island, Park Avenue Bistro also offers a popular Sunday Brunch with over 15 selections including prime rib, and lunches daily Tuesday through Sunday. Dinner is served Thursday through Sunday.

A  Clay County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting event is scheduled at the restaurant on April 24 at 4:30 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Women’s Empowerment Program Focuses on Building Healthy Relationships

Yulee, FL, April 8, 2014 — Building healthy relationships, and recognizing unhealthy ones, can be challenging for women who are struggling with financial and family concerns. A new Women’s Empowerment Group at Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare offers women guidance and solutions for managing relationships, reducing stress and creating balance in their lives.

The Women’s Empowerment Group meets at Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare,  463142 State Road 200 in Yulee, each Tuesday from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m. Women eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Women’s Giving Alliance (WGA) grant are eligible to attend at no charge.

For information or to find out if you are eligible, call Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare at 904.225.8280.

Starting Point Behavioral Health provides mental health and substance abuse treatment services to children, teens and adults in the Fernandina Beach, Yulee, Hilliard and Nassau County, FL region. Serving more than 3,700 individuals each year, Starting Point is a non-profit agency.

 

5th Annual Motorcycle Ride Benefits Mental Health Services in Clay County

Orange Park, FL, March 25, 2014 — Motorcycle riders across Clay County will be getting on the road to support behavioral health services at Clay Behavioral Health Center for the 5th Annual Ride For A Healthier Community on Saturday, May 10. The ride starts at Whitey’s Fish Camp with registration starting at 10 a.m. and the ride beginning at 11 a.m.

This year’s ride includes a dice roll, with a guaranteed “winner take all” prize of $200, as well as prize drawings and a 50/50. All proceeds benefit Clay Behavioral Health Center, a non-profit provider of mental health and substance abuse services for children, teens and adults in Clay County.

The ride begins and ends at Whitey’s Fish Camp with stops at the Vietnam Vets/Legacy Vets Motorcycle Clubhouse, Rusty’s, the Steel Pony, the Fleet Reserve and River House. The ride is followed by dinner at Whitey’s Fish Camp starting at 5 p.m.

Major sponsors for the event are: Whitey’s Fish Camp, Orange Park Medical Center, Clay Today, Abentras, Clay Behavioral Health Center, Bikers Against Child Abuse, Dr. June Gentle, Chiropractor, and Fire & Iron.

The cost to ride in the event is $20 per bike and $10 for a passenger. A chase vehicle is provided and helmets are preferred. Each registration includes one drawing ticket and dinner.

Sponsorships for this community fundraising event are still available. For information, please contact Elizabeth Franco at 904.278.5644, ext. 2009.

River Region Human Services Marks National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Free Screenings and Awareness Events Scheduled in Jacksonville

Jacksonville, FL — River Region Human Services is joining a national effort to inform women and girls about their risk of contracting HIV and AIDS with a series of free HIV testing events in Jacksonville. National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is March 10, and River Region is amping up awareness through social media and the screenings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 25% percent of teens and adults diagnosed with HIV in the United States each year are women — and thousands of women and girls do not know they are infected with the disease. This is the ninth year the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health has sponsored National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and encouraged women and girls to get tested, share information to educate their peers, and participate in related events.

River Region has scheduled the following events:

Free HIV Testing

Friday, March 7 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

1300 N Broad St.

Jacksonville, FL 32202

Monday, March 10 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

1393 Kings Rd

Jacksonville, FL 32209

Awareness Day Celebration at Hilltop Village

Saturday, March 8, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

1646 W. 45th St

Jacksonville, FL 32208

Free HIV and STD Testing

              

Soulful Sundays: A Celebration of Womanhood

Sunday, March 9, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

9726 Touchton Rd Suite 105

Jacksonville, FL 32246

Includes HIV Education and Information

For more information, visit the National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day website at http://womenshealth.gov/nwghaad/ or River Region’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RiverRegion.

River Region Human Services, Inc. Awarded Grant for National Social Media Pilot Project

Jacksonville, FL, February 8, 2014 River Region Human Services has been awarded a federal grant for a pilot program that uses social media to reach targeted populations with messages designed to aid in the prevention of substance abuse and HIV infection.

New Media, New Messages (NM2) is a grant awarded to nine agencies in the U.S. by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The grant provides funding to conduct outreach to specific minority populations using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others. The NM2 program aims to decrease prejudice and discrimination by giving those at risk of contracting HIV the opportunity to share their stories online, allowing positive interaction with others in their community and encouraging healthy behaviors. 

The grant, which launched October 1, 2013, targets those at highest risk for substance abuse and HIV infection, including African American heterosexuals over the age of 15, and African American men who have sex with men (MSM) over the age of 18. Both heterosexual and MSM populations within the African American community carry a significant burden of HIV/AIDS, as well as co-occurring risk factors that contribute to the disproportionate growth of substance abuse, mental health, and HIV/AIDS cases in Duval County. 

River Region has developed two social media sites for the identified populations: Wats Da T Jax to target African American men who have sex with men (MSM) over the age of 18, and Wats Da Play Jax to target African American heterosexuals over the age of 15. Each of the two populations are using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, text messaging, email and other methods of outreach to share information regarding free testing, preventing STDs, and avoiding at-risk behaviors. The project team is working with Deppe Communications to develop and monitor the social media communications strategy.

Vince Evans, River Regions Project Director for NM2, says the innovative pilot program has already reached thousands of people. This is such an important message and social media is a critical way to reach the individuals identified by the program. The inherent anonymity of social media helps us reach populations that are either not consuming traditional media, or are reluctant to engage in activities where they would be identified. We have a team of social media specialists drawn from the target populations who are building a level of trust. Ultimately, our goal is to reduce the incidences of STDs, substance abuse and HIV infections in our community.

African Americans at Higher Risk for HIV in Duval County

African Americans represent 30.5% of the population in Duval County; nearly double that of the entire state of Florida (15%). Despite their minority status, African Americans account for 49% of total reported HIV cases; 40% of all adult male and 69% of all adult female cases.  Newly reported adult HIV infection case rates are five times higher among African American men than white men and 15 times higher among African American women than white women.  For 22 consecutive years (1988-2010), HIV/AIDS had been the leading cause of death for African Americans ages 25-44 in Florida.  While HIV/AIDS dropped to the 4th leading cause of death for African American men and 2nd leading cause of death for African American women in Florida in 2011, African Americans still represented 60% of AIDS deaths for that year (FDOH, 2012, Black Fact Sheet).

MSM is the largest population group unaware that they are infected with HIV, with 54% being uninformed of their HIV status (Florida Department of Health [FDOH], 2012, MSM Fact Sheet). An estimated 7.5% of Florida adults are MSM, accounting for a population of approximately 32,000 in Duval County. While HIV prevalence is disproportionately high for African Americans in the United States, it is even more disproportionate for MSM. MSM represent approximately 2% of the United States population, but accounted for more than half of new HIV infections between 2008 and 2010 (CDC, 2013). Young, African American MSM, ages 13-34, are especially affected by HIV.

Internet Use is High

Studies reveal that younger adults and minorities are the most frequent users of internet access via smartphones. Fifty one percent of African Americans use their smartphones for internet access, compared to 24% of whites. A 2012 survey of HIV-infected individuals indicated that 81% text extensively and more than 50% access the internet through smartphones or tablets. The NM2 project team uses these communication tools to reach the targeted populations to share information and engage in conversation. The team is partnering with similar agencies and organizations to reach as many individuals as possible in the region.

For more information or to follow the NM2 social media sites, visit:

WatsDaTJax on Facebook www.facebook.com/WatsDaTJax

WatsDaTJax on Twitter www.twitter.com/Wats_Da_T_Jax

WatsDaTJax on Instagram www.instagram.com/wats_da_t_jax

Wats Da T Jax targets African American MSM age 18 and older.

WatsDaPlayJax on Facebook www.facebook.com/WatsDaPlayJax

WatsDaPlayJax on Twitter www.twitter.com/watsdaplayjax

WatsDaPlayJax on Instagram www.instagram.com/watsdaplayjax

Wats Da Play Jax targets African American heterosexuals age 15 and older.

CONTACT: Vince Evans, NM2 Project Director

904.899.6300, ext. 4120

Kim Deppe, Deppe Communications

904.524.0170

River Region Schedules Free Testing for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on February 7

Jacksonville, FL – To mark National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), River Region Human Services has scheduled three free HIV testing events in Jacksonville on Feb. 7. Celebrated nationally, the initiative is designed to encourage blacks across the United States and Territorial Areas to get educated, get tested, get involved, and get treated around HIV/AIDS. 

River Region will offer Rapid HIV Tests from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Walgreens locations at 3604 Blanding Boulevard (corner of Wilson and Blanding) and 5108 Norwood Avenue. In addition, testing will be available at Club Aqua, 11000 Beach Boulevard, from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. Rapid HIV Tests provide results within 15 minutes.

HIV/AIDS is especially devastating for the black community, which experiences much higher infection rates than other U.S. populations. While blacks represent approximately 14% of the U.S. population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the group accounts for 44% of the nations new HIV infections. In Duval County, nearly 7,000 individuals have been diagnosed with AIDS and 64% of those diagnosed are black, compared to 49% statewide. In St. Johns County, 44% of those diagnosed with AIDS are black, followed by 29% in Clay County, 43% in Nassau County and 51% in Baker County. (Source: Florida Health AIDS Surveillance Report, Area 4, December 2013.)

Unfortunately, many of those who are infected with HIV are unaware of their status and may unknowingly transmit the virus to others.  Infection rates are higher in urban centers compared with rural areas, and River Region has a program focused on testing and educating minority populations about HIV/AIDS prevention. Testing and education are critical components of the River Region program.

Several black celebrities and community leaders have served as the face and voice of this national effort while encouraging thousands of Black communities to mobilize and do something that will be long-lasting in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Past spokespersons include: President Barack H. Obama (during his time as Illinois Senator), Congressman Elijah E. Cummings; Tony Dungy; Idris Elba; Kimberly Elise; Lance Gross; Hill Harper; Taraji P. Henson; Tom Joyner; Congresswoman Barbara Lee; Chris Bridges (aka Ludacris); Percy Miller (aka Master P); Tangi Miller; Patrik-Ian Polk; General Colin Powell; Sheryl Lee Ralph; Gloria Reuben; Romeo; Rev. Edwin Sanders; Tavis Smiley; and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

Currently, NBHAAD is directed, planned and organized by a group known as the Strategic Leadership Committee who partners with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to mobilize communities and address specific issues in regards to local epidemics.  For more information on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, visit: www.NationalBlackAIDSDay.org.

A Blue Christmas? Try These Tips to Survive the Holiday Blues

December 14, 2013, Orange Park, FL — The buildup and excitement of the holiday season doesn’t always bring joy to everyone. In fact, it can be a very stressful and even disappointing time for many, including those coping with mental illness. This time of year can also be painful for those who have lost loved one, who are feeling financial stress, or are coping with unemployment.

Clay Behavioral Health Center shares these tips for coping with the holiday blues. But, says CEO Irene Toto, LMHC, if you are feeling extremely depressed or not able to function, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional right away.

“If you are feeling overwhelmed, crying constantly, or just unable to function at all then it is a danger sign,” Toto said. “There are many resources available here in Clay County to help, including Clay Behavioral Health Center.”

But many people are just experiencing a temporary case of the blues, brought on by too much stress or missing loved ones, Toto said. If you are experiencing a little holiday sadness, here are a few things you can do.

Get some exercise. Exercise can release endorphins that will lift your spirits and make you feel refreshed.

Eat well. The sugary bounty of cookies, candies and other treats can quickly make you feel sluggish. Try to limit sweets and eat sensibly.

Spend time with family and friends. Get out and attend parties, go to lunch with friends, or take a break with your children and bake cookies or watch a favorite holiday TV show.

Do something nice for someone else. Volunteering your time to help others in need is a great way to step outside your own concerns and focus on someone else.

Set realistic expectations for the holidays. Don’t try to create the “perfect” holiday or recreate a past celebration. Decide what you can comfortably accomplish and realize that not everything will be the same as previous years. If you cannot be with family, find other ways to celebrate together by phone, Email or online chats.

Get plenty of sleep. The restorative power of sleep can give you a fresh perspective. Robbing your body of the sleep it needs can add stress and fatigue.

Be accepting about your feelings. It is perfectly normal to feel sad when thinking about lost loved ones, or to remember past resentments.  Give yourself permission to cry or share your feelings with others. Try to forgive and forget past resentments and grudges and move forward.

Take advantage of the many no-cost holiday celebrations and activities like window shopping and looking at Christmas light displays.

Count your blessings. Focus on the positives in your life instead of dwelling only on sadness.

Take a break. When it all gets too hectic, a short breather can help you recharge. Listen to music, read a book, or take a walk and clear you mind for a few minutes. You will be refreshed and ready to enjoy the holidays.

DUBO ROOFING OPENS NEW LOCATION IN ORANGE PARK, FL

Orange Park, FL, November 8, 2013 — Dubo Roofing will open a new office at 830 Kingsley Ave. in Orange Park on November 15. A local roofer for more than 25 years, Dubo Roofing provides both residential and commercial roofing services in Northeast Florida.

Owner Duke Duncan said he wanted to keep the business in Clay County where he lives, but also provide a centralized location that is close to Jacksonville and all of Clay County. “Dubo Roofing has been based in Clay County for the last two years, operating from a home office in the Fleming Island area. The business has been growing and we decided to relocate. The Kingsley Avenue location fit our needs because it has quick access to major roads and highways,” he said.

Dubo Roofing is a licensed and insured professional roofing service that provides new construction, re-roofing and roofing repairs for asphalt, metal and tile roofing. All installers are employed by the company and fully insured. Dubo Roofing also provides attic insulation and free roofing inspections. For more information, visit www.dubo.net.

RIVER REGION HUMAN SERVICES TO COMMEMORATE WORLD AIDS DAY

 

JACKSONVILLE, FL, November 2013 — River Region Human Services, Inc., is a community-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Northeast Florida by assisting individuals with developing and maintaining a functional, independent lifestyle free from the use of dependency-producing drugs, debilitating mental disorders, involvement in anti-social and criminal activities, HIV/AIDS, and other communicable diseases.

AIDS is the final stage of the HIV infection.   In 2012, nearly 26,000 Duval County residents received HIV/AIDS testing and counseling services.  Of those newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS cases, 18 percent are adolescents and young adults ranging between the ages of 15 to 24, and as a result, many doctors recommend HIV/AIDS testing for people between the ages of 13 and 24.

World AIDS Day was established in 1988 and is the first ever annual global health day.  Today, it is estimated 34 million people worldwide are currently living with HIV/AIDS.  Between 1981 and 2007, more than 25 million people have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.   In recognition of World AIDS Day/Week and to honor the memory of those we have lost, River Region will participate in a week-long series of events to promote an AIDS-free generation.   All residents and encouraged to show support for those living with HIV/AIDS and receive free HIV/AIDS counseling, testing, and condoms at one of following locations:

December 1: Worlds AIDS Day Memorial Service and Walk beginning at 6 p.m. at 1651 Talbot Ave.

December 2: Quilt Ceremony Jacksonville City Hall, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.; HIV/AIDS counseling and testing at Edward Waters College, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

December 3: HIV/AIDS counseling and testing at Jacksonville University, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and The I.M. Sulzbacher Center, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

December 4: HIV/AIDS counseling and testing at Walgreens, 5108 Norwood Avenue; 3101-3 Justina Road, 5 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

December 5: HIV/AIDS counseling and testing at Wesconnect Health Center, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.;  and HIV/AIDS counseling and testing and Condom Blast at 3101-3 Justina Road, 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

December 6:  World AIDS Day Banquet,  11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Jacksonville Omni Hotel

December 7:  World AIDS Day Banquet at 6 p.m. at 516 10th Street ,  Fernandina Beach

*Visit the River Region Facebook page and website for the times and locations of the AIDS mobile testing unit. 

“All too often, people living with HIV/AIDS are embarrassed or afraid to get the emotional or physical support necessary to help them manage the disease,” said Tiffany Galvin Green, Ph.D. and Executive Director for River Region Human Services.   “World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and to remember those that have lost their battle with this devastating disease.”

 

Don’t Get Ripped off by Storm Chasers

Local Roofer Warns of Unscrupulous Contractors Who Take Advantage of Homeowners with Storm Damage

JACKSONVILLE, FL – With the weather heating up and hurricane season reaching its peak, roofers and other contractors will start showing up in communities up-and-down the Florida coast to offer their repair services. Managing the after effects of a natural disaster is a challenge in its own right, but how do you know who has legitimate experience and who may be trying to take advantage of you? Dubo Roofing owner Otis Duncan says there are a few key things you can do to make sure you don’t get ripped off.

A storm chaser is a transient contractor who travels to communities to solicit new business after an emergency or natural disaster. Duncan says when you are evaluating a contractor for roof repair, you should consider the following questions:

  • Do the repair vehicles have out-of-state tags? If so, it is likely contractor may only be in town for storm work and will not be around if your roof needs further repair. It is important to understand who will service the warranty if problems arise later.
  • Is the contractor licensed and insured by the State of Florida to perform the storm repair work? If not, you could be liable for additional expenses to fix poor repair work and for accidents that occur at your home.
  • Is the contract easy to understand? A clearly written invoice will include the company’s complete name, address and phone number, a detailed breakdown of all products and services recommended along with the total cost for each item, length of warranty and payment terms. It is important to ask questions if you do not understand the contract. Some contractors may try to slip in cancellation or contingency fees that will make the final bill more than you are expecting to pay.

“We understand you may feel anxious to restore your home and life after a disaster, but it’s important to proceed with a clear head so you make sound decisions,” Duncan says.”Don’t feel pressured into making an immediate decision without considering the long-term impact of your decisions.Before you make a decision about who will do your repair work, it is important to ask for written estimates, verify references and confirm your contractor is licensed to operate in Florida. A legitimate contractor will let you take all the time you need to evaluate their business.”

Dubo Roofing is a local, licensed roofer serving the Orange Park and Jacksonville area since 2001. The company has extensive experience in roofing damage due to storms and works with homeowners and insurance companies to repair damage. For more information or an estimate, call 904.396.1889 or visit the website at www.dubo.net.

Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare Names Four New Board Members

Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare has named four new members to its Board of Directors, succeeding previous members with expiring terms. The new board members are Leigh Coulter Beal, Josh Martin, Deputy Chief Mark Foxworth and Lt. CID Dave Griffith. The voluntary board oversees the management of the non-profit behavioral health agency, which provides mental health and substance abuse treatment services in Nassau County.

Starting Point CEO Dr. Laureen Pagel noted the board already has a wide range of professional skills and experience, which will be enhanced further with the addition of these four new members. “We are very blessed to gain the expertise and passion of these individuals,” she said. “Their input and guidance will be critical in the coming years as we maneuver through the many changes in healthcare delivery that are coming.”

Dave Griffith is Lt. CID/ Narcotics for the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department and was the 2011 Deputy of the Year. He has received training form the Law Enforcement Academy, DEA School and SWAT schools. He has been married to his wife Kim for 22 years has two children and two grandchildren.

Leigh Coulter Beal, APR, is an accredited public relations counselor who has spent her career specializing in product, healthcare, tourism and real estate public relations. She has served associations in mental health and developmental disabilities, and her major clients have included Coors, Toyota, Chrysler, BullFrog, and Edwards Fine Foods. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia (Phi Beta Kappa), serves on the vestry at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, and has served as secretary of the FBHS Foundation and president of the GFWC Fernandina Beach Woman’s Club.

Josh Martin is a native of Atlanta, GA and has lived in Fernandina Beach since 2009. He is a graduate of Mercer University Law School and practices as a partner at Davis, Martin & Bernard, P.A. Prior to joining the Starting Point board of directors, he served as a trustee for the Nassau Humane Society. Josh and his wife Devin welcomed their first child, Madison, in 2012.

Mark Foxworth is the Deputy Chief of Police of the Fernandina Beach Police Department where he is second in command of the police department, with the primary function of managing daily operations of the agency. Foxworth was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, where he served with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office from 1980 to 2000. During his tenure there, he was named the Supervisor of the Year. After retiring in 2000, Foxworth served as commanding officer of the Homicide Unit and then with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and as Chief of Police at the University of North Florida Police Department.. Foxworth came to the Fernandina Beach Police Department in 2008. He has been married to his wife Mary for 31 years and they have three adult daughters and eight grandchildren.

Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare is a not-for-profit organization with offices in Yulee, Fernandina Beach, and Hilliard. It has been providing mental health counseling, psychiatric and addiction recovery services in Nassau County since 1992.

 

Grand Opening & Open House Set for Childcare Center at Gateway Community Services 

Weaver Family Foundation Provided Funds for the Center

July 14, 2013, Jacksonville, FL — Grand Opening ceremonies will be held during an Open House for the new childcare center at Gateway Community Services. The Children’s Zone daycare center event will be held Monday, July 22, at 10 a.m. at 555 Stockton Street in Jacksonville. The event is free and open to the public. A reception and tours of the facility will follow the opening ceremonies.

The Children’s Zone was funded in part by the Weaver Family Foundation, founded by former Jacksonville Jaguars owners Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver.  The Children’s Zone is designed to care for children of women who are undergoing substance abuse treatment at Gateway Community Services. This allows mothers to get treatment without losing custody of their children, or without losing contact with them daily.

“Gateway was the first substance abuse treatment center in the nation to recognize the importance of keeping women and children together during treatment for drugs and alcohol,” said CEO Dr. Candace Hodgkins. “We are very proud of this new center, and grateful for the generous donations of the Weaver Family Foundation and our other community partners that made it possible.”

Former Gateway CEO Dr. Virginia Borrok will speak at the event. During her tenure at Gateway Community Services, Dr. Borrok initiated the first substance treatment program in the US that permitted children to remain with their mothers in treatment after birth. Prior to this, the infant would be removed from the mother and placed with either a foster family or a family member.

In addition to the Weaver Family Foundation, the Children’s Zone was funded by a number of community partners including Builders Care, Lumber Unlimited, White Roofing, RD Landscaping, Late Bloomers Garden Club, First Timothy Church, Wells Fargo, and state and local funds.

Gateway Community Services provides drug and alcohol detoxification, counseling and rehabilitation for teens and adults. Located at 555 Stockton St., Jacksonville, FL, the non-profit agency offers outpatient and residential addiction treatment, recovery housing, research, and prevention services for the community. Gateway has received a “Guiding Star” designation from the Early Learning Coalition. Gateway Community Services accepts private insurance and Medicaid. Funding for those without insurance is provided through the state and local funding and through generous donations of people and businesses in our community. For more information or to make a donation, visitwww.gatewaycommunity.com.

 

Jaguars Foundation Donates Computers for Kids at Gateway Community Services

July 17, 2013, Jacksonville, FL – The Jaguars Foundation has donated six computers, keyboards, monitors and educational software for children attending the new daycare center at Gateway Community Services. The new Children’s Zone Childcare Center cares for children of women receiving treatment at Gateway, as well as children from the community.

Peter Racine, president of the Jaguars Foundation, coordinated the donation of the computer equipment as part of the organization’s support of disadvantaged children in the community. “The Jaguars organization is pleased to partner with former Jaguars team owners Wayne and Delores Weaver and Gateway Community Services in support of the new Children’s Zone,” Racine said. “Because addiction affects the entire family, the recovery process includes the children, which is why the Children’s Zone is so important.  The Jaguars’ donation of computers and educational software gives these children the tools they need for homework, learning and to have fun like their peers.”

Gateway Community Services has been providing substance abuse treatment in the Jacksonville region since 1978. The services include inpatient, outpatient and residential treatment, clinical research, phone and internet-based treatment, prevention, intervention and HIV prevention and treatment. Gateway treats adults and adolescents and has specialized in several areas including a Women’s Recovery Program, transitional employment programs and supportive housing. The programs are based on the 12-step program.

 

Kennedy Space Center Federal Credit Union Selects AXIS Data Solutions for Statement Processing Services

June 19, 2013, Jacksonville, FL  — Kennedy Space Center Federal Credit Union has selected Axis Data Solutions to provide monthly statement processing for its more than 46,700 members. In addition, AXIS will work with KSC Federal Credit Union to redesign the current monthly member statement to make it more user friendly and incorporate marketing messages.

AXIS Data Solutions services will permit KSC Federal Credit Union to electronically deliver account notices and other documents to its members. In addition, Axis provides marketing support through statement onsert and selective messaging. These services allow the credit union to communicate to individual members based on their products or interests.

“KSC Federal Credit Union is looking forward to a collaborative partnership with AXIS to redesign and improve the monthly statements for our members. Using the technology and security of AXIS assures the privacy and security of our members’ data. Their suite of marketing services will add flexibility for our staff and help us provide better, more targeted information to our members,” said KSC Federal Credit Union CEO Joe Mirachi.

“I am very pleased to announce our partnership with Kennedy Space Center Federal Credit Union,” said Axis President David R. Salazar. “By working together, we can improve the member experience while assuring accurate and timely account information is communicated.”

Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, AXIS Data Solutions is an award-winning service firm delivering unsurpassed excellence in data programming, laser printing, mail processing and e-business applications that meet the expanding needs of financial institutions, government entities and corporations throughout the United States.

Kennedy Space Center Federal Credit Union has been dedicated to providing quality financial services since April 1963, originally chartered as Merritt Island Launch Area (MILA) Federal Credit Union. The Credit Union today has 13 branches and membership is open to anyone who lives, works or worships in Brevard or Volusia Counties.

 

GROW FINANCIAL FEDERAL CREDIT UNION SELECTS AXIS DATA SOLUTIONS FOR STATEMENT PROCESSING SERVICES

May 28, 2013, Orlando, FL  — Grow Financial Federal Credit Union has entered into a three-year renewal of its contract with Axis Data Solutions to provide monthly statement processing for its more than 186,300 members. The Tampa Bay-based credit union has $1.8 billion in assets and 20 branches in Florida and South Carolina.

Grow Financial chose AXIS based on its record of producing high quality and accurate records in a timely fashion, according to credit union executives. AXIS has been providing statement processing services for Grow for over 17 years.

“The security and privacy of our members’ data is of paramount importance to Grow Financial, said   Brad Sears, Chief Information Officer at Grow Financial. “At AXIS, they have the systems and process management in place to assure that security. AXIS Data Solutions has a track record of getting our members’ statements delivered on time and accurately. These are very important issues for improving the member experience at Grow Financial.”

Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, AXIS Data Solutions is an award-winning service firm delivering unsurpassed excellence in data programming, laser printing, mail processing and e-business applications that meet the expanding needs of financial institutions, government entities and corporations throughout the United States.

With 20 branches, and two more in development, Grow Financial Federal Credit Union is recognized as one of the leading Credit Unions in the nation, and has $1.8 billion in assets.  Originally founded to provide a safe place to save and borrow money for the military and civilian personnel of MacDill Air Force Base, Grow Financial has since expanded membership to include employees of more than 1,100 businesses.  Established in 1955, Grow Financial has itscorporate headquarters in Tampa, Florida. For more information visit www.growfinancial.org.

 

Local Roofers Offer Tips for Roof Repairs

Jacksonville, FL –Finding a leak or damage to your roof can be a stressful problem, and if you don’t have a lot of experience with roofers, you may not know where to start. Many people ask friends or family for a recommendation, while others search online. But no matter where you start, here are a few tips to help you avoid making a costly mistake. Dubo Roofing of Orange Park, FL, offers these tips to help homeowners choose the right professional for the job.

Tip #1: Hire an experienced professional 

Instead of carrying out the entire process all alone, it is best to hire an experienced professional who has the reputation, skills and knowledge about the latest roofing techniques in Jacksonville, FL. After all, our weather and roofing material requirements are much different here in Northeast Florida than in other parts of the country, so be sure you choose someone with local experience. To ensure that your house is in safe hands, you need the services of a skilled expert who is licensed to do the work. The cost will be worth knowing that you have an expert on the job. Experts will evaluate the condition of your roof and advise you on a replacement or a complete new roof. Employing a professional protects you from harming yourself from injuries or accidents that could happen if you did the work yourself.

Tip #2: Do your homework

A good contractor will be able to give you references from former customers and it is worth the time to contact those people and get their feedback. Check the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, Google Reviews and other places to find out if the roofer has been rated highly. And, when the job is over, give some reviews of your own to help others.

Tip #3: Create and maintain your budget

Before you start with the roof repair or replacement process, it is best to know what your budget is and whether your home insurance will be covering any of the cost. Get an estimate from the roofer you are hiring so that you can have an idea about their fees and, if necessary, submit it to your insurer in advance. If possible, set aside some money in case you want to add extras or make changes to the roofing materials that may cost more. To save  money, you can compare the charges of different roofers in Jacksonville, FL. Choose the one with a good reputation and the best value.

These three tips can help in repair or replace your roof with the assurance of knowing you have a professional doing the job. Choosing a reputable company to perform your roof repair can keep you worry free.

If you want to know more about roofing in Jacksonville, FL, you can check out http://www.dubo.net/.

 

River Region Human Services Opens Counseling Center in Baker County

Macclenny, FL – River Region Human Services is now providing mental health and substance abuse counseling and treatment in Baker County. The new office is located at 56 North 2nd Street in Macclenny, FL and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The facility is staffed by a Psychiatrist, Licensed Mental Health Counselors, Certified Addiction Professionals, and an ARNP who will provide psychiatric services along with the physician. Dr. Raymond Pomm is the Medical Director and Psychiatrist. River Region also plans to open a Drop-In Center for mental health clients at 211 E Macclenny Avenue.

River Region was chosen by Lutheran Services of Florida to provide the services through a contract with the agency. Services offered include: substance abuse and mental health services for adults and adolescents; group counseling; case management; in-school counseling; and home-based counseling. To contact the Baker County Office, call (904) 259-0264.

Since 1972, River Region Human Services has provided mental health and substance abuse services beginning pre-conception and continuing throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, including specialized services for the elderly. For mothers of newborns in need, River Region provides safe housing where they receive counseling and services to help them successfully transition back into the community. The non-profit agency also provides extensive prevention services for youth, including trained counselors within the Duval County School system, camps, and peer support services. Counseling services for at-risk adolescents are provided at community schools as well as River Region locations. HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, counseling and referral services are provided throughout the community. Substance Abuse, Mental Health and Co-Ocurring Services include outpatient, residential, day/night, medication, case management and continuing care services. Other services include supportive and transitional housing, an employee assistance program, corrections and court service programs, parenting and anger management classes and DUI offender programs.

For more information, call (904) 899-6300 or visit www.rrhs.org.

 

Introducing Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare

April 19, 2013, YULEE, FL – Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare was introduced to Nassau County at a press conference April 19 on its Yulee campus. The non-profit behavioral health and substance abuse treatment agency, formerly known as Sutton Place, is the largest human services agency in Nassau County.

Flanked by elected officials, employees, healthcare providers and dignitaries in the community, CEO Laureen Pagel, PhD introduced the new name and green diamond-shaped logo.

“We chose the name Starting Point to reflect the new path and fresh start that we represent to our clients. As a behavioral health provider, we play an important role in the overall healthcare system. Our services help people make significant changes to improve their mental and physical health. Our tagline, Healing Begins Here, sums up the approach we take in helping others,” Dr. Pagel said.

“Starting Point is a place of healing where individuals can begin a new chapter in their lives,” said Board Chair Cherie Billings. “We felt it was important that our name more closely reflect the services we provide. We are immensely proud of the work done here by the professionals at Starting Point, and we want to be sure our entire community knows about the services here.”

The new logo for Starting Point is green and gray and includes a diamond shape with a path inside. The diamond shape represents the vlaue of each individual and also represents a decision point. The path begins wider, then narrows into the distance, suggesting the continuation of the journey beyond the boundaries of today and into a new future. The colors represent the green of spring and a fresh start and the gray reflects the steel-like inner strength developed during the journey to healing.
The re-branding of the agency was part of a year-long strategic plan to enhance the image and expand services to the community. “We felt that there were many people in our community who did not really know what we do,” Dr. Pagel said, “so it was important for us to be more active in telling the community about our services. We believe we can reach more people who can benefit from our services, but did now know we were here.”
Along with the new name and logo, Starting Point has launched a new, expanded website at http://www.spbh.org along with a new Facebook page.

Starting Point Behavioral Health provides mental health and substance abuse treatment services to children, teens and adults in the Fernandina Beach, Yulee, Amelia Island and Nassau County, FL region. Serving more than 3,700 individuals each year, Starting Point is a non-profit agency. Visit their website at www.spbh.org.

 

COMMUNITY FIRST CREDIT UNION OF FLORIDA SELECTS AXIS DATA SOLUTIONS FOR STATEMENT PROCESSING SERVICES

February 7, 2013, Jacksonville, FL  — Community First Credit Union of Florida has selected Axis Data Solutions to provide monthly statement processing for its more than 104,000 members. The agreement is a continuation and expansion of a contract for these services that began in 2008.

AXIS Data Solutions services will permit Community First to electronically deliver account notices and other documents to its members. In addition, Axis provides marketing support through statement onsert and selective messaging. These services allow the credit union to communicate to individual members based on their products or interests.

“Our partnership with AXIS Data Solutions has helped Community First Credit Union of FL continue to provide outstanding service to our members. The privacy and security of our members’ data is paramount to the credit union, and AXIS has outstanding processes to assure that security. In addition, they offer the accuracy and responsiveness we need to serve our members,” said Roger Rassman, Vice President of Marketing at Community First Credit Union of Florida.

Rassman said Axis’ capability for providing targeted messaging to members through their monthly statements was a key reason for choosing the company.

“I am very pleased that we will be continuing our relationship with Community First Credit Union,” said Axis President David R. Salazar. “By working collaboratively, we are able to provide a better experience for the credit union’s members, assure accurate and timely account information is communicated, and enhance the organization’s marketing efforts.”

Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, AXIS Data Solutions is an award-winning service firm delivering unsurpassed excellence in data programming, laser printing, mail processing and e-business applications that meet the expanding needs of financial institutions, government entities and corporations throughout the United States.

 

Local Dentist Offers Healthy Dental Tips for Kids as Part of National Children’s Dental Health Month

Orange Park, FL, February 4, 2013 – Many parents in Northeast Florida will issue a common refrain at dinnertime tonight: “You’d better eat that–it’s good for you!” There’s another old favorite in the parental arsenal of dietary advice: “Don’t eat that—it’ll rot your teeth!” Now more than ever, kids are faced with a bewildering array of food choices — from fresh produce to sugar-laden processed convenience meals and snack foods. What children eat and when they eat it may affect not only their general health, but also their oral health.

Americans are consuming foods and drinks high in sugar and starches more often and in larger portions than ever before. It’s clear that “junk” foods and drinks gradually have replaced nutritious beverages and foods for many people. For example, the average teenage boy in the U.S. consumes 81 gallons of soft drinks each year!. Alarmingly, a steady diet of sugary foods and drinks can ruin teeth, especially among those who snack throughout the day. Common activities may contribute to the tendency toward tooth decay. These include grazing regularly on foods with little nutritional value, and frequently sipping on sugary drinks.

“When sugar is consumed over and over again in large, often hidden amounts, the harmful effect on teeth can be dramatic,” says Dr. Michael Sherman, an Orange Park dentist. “Sugar on teeth provides food for bacteria, which produce acid. The acid in turn can eat away the enamel on teeth.”

Almost all foods have some type of sugar that cannot and should not be eliminated from our diets, Dr. Sherman notes. “Many of these foods contain important nutrients and add enjoyment to eating. But there is a risk for tooth decay from a diet high in sugars and starches. Starches can be found in everything from bread to pretzels to salad dressing, so read labels and plan carefully for a balanced, nutritious diet for you and your kids.”

Dr. Sherman offers families these tips to help reduce children’s risk of tooth decay:

–  Sugary foods and drinks should be consumed along with meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.

–  Limit between-meal snacks. If kids crave a snack, offer them nutritious foods.

–  If your kids chew gum, make it sugarless – Chewing sugarless gum after eating can

increase saliva flow and help wash out food and decay-producing acid.

–  Monitor beverage consumption – Instead of soft drinks all day, children should also

choose water and low-fat milk.

–  Help your children develop good brushing and flossing habits.

  •  Schedule regular dental visits.

Michael Sherman, DDS, is a family dentist practicing at Park Avenue Dental in Orange Park. He and his staff are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art technology in a comfortable patient environrment. For more information, contact Park Avenue Dental at (904) 269-5520 or visit www.parkavenuedentalfl.com.

 

Top This Cafe Opens in Raleigh’s Atrium Building

Raleigh, NC, January 14, 2013The latest addition to Raleigh’s breakfast and lunch options is TopThis Cafe, which recently opened in the Atrium Building, located off Blue Ridge Road and Lake Boone Trail.

Top This Cafe specializes in ultra fresh breakfast and lunch menu items for dining in, catering or take out. Owners Tom Scheidler and Mike Itayem have partnered to bring a casual, affordable and premium breakfast and lunch menu to Top This Cafe.

“We have great breakfast fare from 7 a.m.,” says Itayem, “serving breakfast favorites like cappuccinos, sandwiches and omelettes. At lunch, we offer premium burgers and salads that you can customize with dozens of topping choices.”

The ingredients used at Top This Cafe are fresh, never frozen, and all sandwich toppings are homemade. Slow roasted turkey and roast beef are just two of the unique sandwich selections, where you can choose from over 40 different perfectly prepared toppings to build your sand- wich or burger and “Create uR Craving!”

Top This Cafe has an extensive catering menu, or you can call in for take-out orders at 919.615.2121.

“People need to know that if they are hungry, Top This Cafe is the place to come,” said Itayem. “We work very hard to make sure our customers are never disappointed and that they always come back.”

 

AXIS Data Solutions Earns SSAE 16 Type II Compliance Recognition

 Orlando, FL, September 12, 2012 AXIS Data Solutions, a national data solutions partner, has been recognized by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for compliance with SSAE 16 Type II requirements . SSAE 16 Type II is a thorough and critical evaluation of the company’s processes and procedures to ensure their effectiveness. The evaluation takes place over an extended period to make certain that the procedures are performed as required.

AXIS, founded in 1991 and headquartered in Orlando, FL, provides businesses with data programming, laser printing, mail processing and e-business applications to meet the expanding needs of financial institutions, government entities, utilities, healthcare providers and corporations across the U.S. AXIS provides expertise in every aspect of high volume production printing and mailing, using state-of-the-art data management and information processing techniques.

“The SSAE 16 compliance is a very important achievement for AXIS and our clients,” said President and CEO David Salazar. “It is recognition of the high level of security and controls we have in place to protect and secure their data and it assures our clients that we have achieved the highest level of compliance with data protection standards.”

The SSAE 16 is a new standard that replaces the SAS 70 as the benchmark compliance for companies that are required to comply with privacy and security regulations. The standards were developed by AICA. An independent Certified Public Accounting conducts the in-depth audit of organizations to test their compliance with the standards.