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Pristine white sand beaches. Year-round sunshine. The First Coast is five counties: Duval, Baker, Nassau, Clay, and the healthiest in Florida, St Johns. The most populous Duval County is improving, but critical barriers are holding us back - heart disease causes one in every five deaths and is the second leading cause of the death behind cancer. 29 food deserts make access to healthy food a challenge for some community members. Life expectancy can vary by 6 years depending on where residents live because of certain social determinants. Despite this, First Coast hearts are stronger than ever and beating together with pride. A strong collaboration of healthcare, non-profit, business, and faith-based organizations are committed to making our community the healthiest in Florida. Join us, and let's work together to build a culture of health on Florida's first coast.
Building a culture of health in Jacksonville
Lifestyle Risk Factors
“It has been rewarding and satisfying working with the AHA and local community leaders on the mission of the AHA to eradicate cardiovascular disease and stroke in our region. The AHA staff is great to work with and are so passionate about what they do. I have found these diseases touch all of us in some way. The AHA and all of us working with them are having an impact on peoples’ lives.”
–Doug Baer, Involving Local Community Volunteers, CEO Brooks Rehabilitation, Former Chair of the First Coast Board
Healthy For Good
You don’t need a guilt trip. We know you know. You want to be Healthy For Good. And we’re here to help inspire you to create lasting change in your health and your life, one small step at a time. The approach is simple: Eat smart. Add color. Move more. Be well. Get Healthy For Good.
STEM Goes Red Jacksonville
An inspiring, day-long event to motivate an extraordinary group of 100 local, middle school girls to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) outside the classroom. These future leaders will be exposed to female leaders in STEM careers and will walk away knowing they can make an impact in their world by following in their footsteps into a STEM career. Locally sponsored by FIS Global.
Knowledge Saves Lives
First Coast Life is Why sponsor Mayo Clinic collaborates with the American Heart Association by raising awareness about heart and brain health as well as community activations through their program called Wellness RX. Wellness RX is a collaboration that takes important information and services to the communities on the First Coast with the largest health disparities.
Managing the Pressure
First Coast Life is Why Sponsor Florida Blue is working to reduce blood pressure through the Check. Change. Control. program, an online program to help manage and control blood pressure. Florida Blue combines this program through community events that educate on the risks of this "silent killer" effecting almost half of all Americans.
Check. Change. Control.
Damage to your blood vessels from high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other serious health threats. Maintain a healthy heart by using our Check. Change. Control. tracking tool to monitor your readings at home!
The AHA and AMA partnered to launch Target: BP as a tool to support physicians and care teams. First Coast Health Systems interested in increasing and being recognized for their patient population blood pressure control rates can contact Chelsea.Reeves@heart.org or call (904) 903-5232.
Closing Equity Gaps
EmPOWERED To Serve™ is a movement inspired by our multicultural volunteers around the country who are passionate about driving change through health justice in their communities. These committed ambassadors are impacting gaps in health equity through advocacy, policy, education and social change.
Focus on Quality
When medical professionals apply the most up-to-date evidence-based treatment guidelines, patient outcomes improve. That’s the simple truth behind the drive for continuous quality improvement. Our comprehensive suite of programs can help you advance farther and faster in the quest for ever-better care.
Emergencies leave us feeling helpless, but they don’t have to. Take two minutes to learn Hands-Only CPR™(link opens in new window) now. 70 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes. When a person has a cardiac arrest, immediate CPR can double or triple their chance of survival. Prepare to save a life, find a CPR course near you today.
Changing Local Policy
To raise the number of CPR-trained bystanders, a growing list of Florida school districts are enacting formal CPR in Schools policy to train students in CPR prior to graduation, including Duval, Clay, and Nassau counties.
Funding Local Researchers
Research is a pillar of the American Heart Association’s lifesaving mission. Over the past 10 years, we’ve awarded 10 grants totaling $1.6 million to First Coast-area researchers in the ongoing quest to understand, improve, and treat cardiovascular disease and stroke. The results will assist doctors, hospitals, and other institutions to save lives in our own backyard and across the world.
Current Research Spotlight
“Our research is aimed at understanding why some people develop cognitive decline as they age. In particular, we are trying to determine how 'healthy' blood vessels maintain good cognitive performance during aging and what cellular changes in 'unhealthy' blood vessels contribute to cognitive decline. Our ultimate goal is to identify the way by which unhealthy aging in blood vessels causes dementia and to prevent or treat cognitive decline by repairing the damage from the harmful aspects of cellular changes in blood vessels during aging.”
–Yu Yamazaki, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
You are not alone. Learn from people like you, or help others who are going through an emotional time. Explore the forums, read survivor stories, seek and receive support.
Why Cholesterol Matters
There are few warning signs of high cholesterol, but the impact is real. By lowering your cholesterol, you'll reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Take control today. Manage your cholesterol levels by making healthy lifestyle choices and following a sound medical treatment plan.
Across the Sunshine State, communities are building a healthier infrastructure and tackling inequities for hearts of all ages. The challenges are great, but together our future is greater.
First Coast Heart Walk
Saturday, September 21, 2019
Let's get Heartwalking, a movement to move more. Heart Walk is a festival of one million hearts in 300+ communities nationwide beating healthy for good. Join us in Jacksonville! Walk in memory of someone you love, or create a team.
First Coast Go Red For Women Luncheon
May 17, 2019
Florida Blue Conference Center
We "Go Red" for our mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. Heart disease and stroke cause one in three deaths among women - more than all cancers combined. Let's raise awareness that 80 percent of cardiac events are preventable!
First Coast Heart Ball
April 13, 2019
Sawgrass Marriott Hotel
Business, medical, and other community leaders unite to celebrate the lifesaving mission of the American Heart Association. Don't miss this unforgettable evening of inspiration, entertainment and hope as we build a healthier First Coast!
Email us for more information on giving
Why I Support the AHA
“Heart Disease has directly impacted our families and that makes the work of the American Heart Association a personal passion for us. ”
–Pat and Inger Geraghty, American Heart Association - First Coast Executive Community Leaders and Volunteers
First Coast Board of Directors
Baptist Health System, EVP & CFO
YAZAN KHATIB, MD, FAAC, FSCAI, FABVM, FSVM
First Coast Cardiovascular Institute, President
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT CHAIR
Brooks Rehabilitation, President & CEO
MICHAEL J. KOREN, MD, FACC, FAPCR, CPI
Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research, CEO & Investigator
Old Village, Chief Marketing Officer
W. FRANK COBBIN, JR.
AT&T and Aetna, Executive Retiree
Jacksonville Jaguars, President
Dalton Agency, President, PR
D. HUNT HAWKINS
Stein Mart, CEO
Duval Public Schools, School Board Member
Acosta Sales & Marketing, Vice Chairman
RICARDO A. HANEL, MD, PHD
Baptist Health System, Director, Baptist Neurological Institute Endowed Chair of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Surgery
ELANA SCHRADER, MD
GuideWell / Florida Blue, Chief Medical Officer
FRED KUSUMOTO, MD
Mayo Clinic, Consultant, Cardiovascular Diseases, Professor of Medicine
DAVID M. SZYMANSKI, PHD
University of North Florida, President