The Florida Kiwanis Foundation has stepped up to help Healthy Families Florida prevent further spread of the Zika Virus. Recently, the Foundation issued mini-grants to Capital City Kiwanis Club and Kiwanis Club of Quincy to help Healthy Families Gadsden/Leon expand the project into the northern part of the state. The funding will be used to purchase additional kit materials for distribution in Gadsden and Leon counties.
“Florida families, especially pregnant women and their babies, are at risk of life-changing health consequences from the Zika virus,” said Jennifer Ohlsen, Executive Director of Healthy Families Florida. “Our existing network of family support workers is a natural fit for delivering critical public health messages and important prevention resources, such as the Zika prevention kits. We are thankful to Kiwanis clubs across the state for their contributions to the Zika prevention kits and their continued partnership in support of Florida’s families.”
“The Florida Kiwanis Foundation is committed to supporting causes that impact the health and well-being of Florida’s families and children,” said Jim Wylie, Division 3 Trustee for Florida Kiwanis Foundation and member of the Healthy Families Florida Statewide Advisory Committee. “With the spring and summer months rapidly approaching, we must stay diligent in educating our communities and helping prevent the spread of the Zika virus. We are proud to sponsor these mini-grants and encourage our clubs around the state to remain involved in this important project.”
Healthy Families Florida and the Ounce of Prevention Fund are spearheading this project with financial support and resources from Florida District of Kiwanis, the Florida Blue Foundation, the Spearman Family Foundation, Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions, philanthropists from the Ounce of Prevention Fund’s Board of Directors and other Florida businesses. The Ounce of Prevention Fund also engaged the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Children and Families to provide printed Zika prevention materials and partial funding to purchase kit materials.
“Although our state is experiencing a reprieve from Zika during the cooler months, Florida families should not let their guard down to protect pregnant women and their developing babies. Everyone must remain vigilant in preventing mosquitoes bites by wearing bug spray and draining sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed. I deeply appreciate the dedicated work of Florida Kiwanis, Healthy Families and other partners to help get Zika prevention supplies and educational materials to more Florida families,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. Celeste Philip.
“Everyone plays a role in helping families stay healthy and safe,” said Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll. “We encourage everyone to take precautions to avoid exposure to the Zika virus. We are proud to partner with The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, Healthy Families and Florida Kiwanis in sharing the information and supplies Floridians need to prevent the spread of Zika.”
Healthy Families Florida, a program of the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, is a nationally-accredited family support and coaching program that is proven to help parents provide the safe and stable environments children need for healthy growth and development. In 1998, the Florida Legislature created Healthy Families Florida to promote healthy child development in partnership with the Florida Department of Children and Families. Parents voluntarily participate in home-based services that help them improve their parenting skills and achieve goals that increase family stability and self-sufficiency.
To learn more about the risks of Zika and how to protect yourself, visit http://www.cdc.gov/zika/.
Jennifer L. Ohlsen
Executive Director, Healthy Families Florida
Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida
111 North Gadsden Street, Suite 100