National Health Corps Florida is an AmeriCorps program that provides service opportunities to help meet unmet health care and health education needs in the region. The Healthy Start Coalition has handled the administrative and fiscal responsibilities of the program since August 2013.
National Health Corps Florida is one of several sites under the umbrella of the National Health Corps, an AmeriCorps National Service program that recruits, trains, and places paid volunteers in resource-limited organizations called “host sites.” With support from a grant from AmeriCorps, NHC’s members help build healthy communities by providing essential health education and access services to individuals throughout the United States. A key priority for the NHC program is to eliminate health disparities and the underlying structural oppression* that perpetuates them.
Members help build healthy communities by providing two main services:
1. Support empowerment in youth and adults to make choices about their health and lead healthier lives.
2. Foster NHC members’ skills related to professional development, commitment to health-related careers, ethic of service, and reducing health disparities and structural oppression.
3. Support organizations that aim to reduce disparities and structural oppression, and improve health outcomes in communities.
The National Health Corps Florida program first launched in 2004 with support from local community agencies, including the Coalition. The program has previously been administered by the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida and the Duval County Health Department Maternal & Child Health Division.
NFHC AmeriCorps members serve 46 weeks in health care or public health settings throughout the First Coast, fulfilling unmet health care needs and decreasing disparities. The members live and serve primarily in Jacksonville, Florida. Host sites and services are located in Jacksonville and adjacent counties.
National Health Corps Florida at the Coalition
Since 2005, the Coalition has been able to expand and create new initiatives through a partnership with the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program. Members serving at the Coalition assist with a variety of initiatives.