The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition launches its new Volunteer Program

The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition is excited to launch a new Volunteer Program. As we continue to grow, we are eager to give tomorrow’s healthcare professionals the opportunity to learn and work with women, babies and families in Northeast Florida. Our first volunteer cohort includes three interns who are working towards their Masters of Public Health degree, respectively.

Originally from Tennessee, Keri Pirtle holds a Bachelors in IMG_3650Health Science from Wichita State
University and will complete a Masters of Public Health in August 2017 from the University of New
England. Keri is a graduate intern with the Azalea Project, focusing on increasing recruitment and
participation of the group education sessions. She is most excited about working closely with clients to develop positive, sustainable plans for the future. Keri has over a decade of experience working with infants, children, and families, and will certainly put that to good use. Keri is a married, fur mom of one, who loves Tennessee Volunteer Football, Nashville Predators Hockey, and fitness.

IMG_3654Dr. Aruna Manisekaran is a public health intern who will also be working at the Azalea Project. She is currently a Master in Public Health candidate at the University of North Florida (UNF) in Jacksonville. She graduated with first class honors for her undergraduate studies with a Bachelors in Dental Surgery. She also works for the Graduate School at UNF. During her term as an intern for the Azalea Project, Dr. Aruna hopes to expand her horizon as a public health student, learn about working as a public health professional and how to apply her knowledge gained as an MPH student.  In her free time, she likes to think of ways to help those in need and begin her initiative to collect toiletries, socks, and condoms to be distributed to the homeless of Jacksonville. When Dr. Aruna is not working she enjoys activities such as photography, arts and crafts, singing, reading books, and cooking. She is a well-rounded individual who lives with passion, dedication, and grace.

Samantha Williams is a current Master of Public Health (MPH) student at the University of North Florida. SheIMG_3646 earned her Bachelors of Science in Biology as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology. She is currently interning with the Fatherhood P.R. I.D.E Initiative, with the goal of promoting the Fatherhood program, increasing recruitment of new fathers to the program, as well as recruit community partnerships through community and internal outreach. As an intern, she will also be facilitating job skills classes and helping with special events such as the 2nd Annual Barbeque Competition on June 17th. After recently giving birth to a beautiful baby girl, she became increasing interested in improving the health outcomes and lives of babies through the Healthy Start Program, specifically through the Fatherhood P.R.I.D.E. Initiative. She is excited about working with the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition and hopes to make a difference in the lives of the men that she will help, as well as their families.

For more information about the Volunteer Program, contact Jennifer Larramore