Media Release
Contact: Barb Baptista
Barbara.Baptista@flhealth.gov
904-753-1258
January 31, 2022

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Fernandina Beach, FL – The Florida Department of Health in Nassau County (DOH-Nassau) was one of eight grantees selected for a Healthy Brain Initiative Grant by the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). The grant will allow DOH-Nassau and key partners to enhance the capacity to address cognitive health and dementia for the citizens of Nassau County. That includes expanding “observation lens” for planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health actions addressing the needs of our population living with or at risk for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, while also helping promote quality of life for their caregivers.

Components of this initiative include community dialogues, training of local health officials and key community partners, and implementation of public health actions on dementia.

DOH-Nassau is looking for people interested in joining a group that will serve in an advisory capacity for this initiative. Members of this group will review and discuss recommendations made for Nassau County Healthy Brain Road Map that addresses risk reduction, early interventions, and support to caregivers, complementing the clinical model addressing Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Participants will have the option to attend virtually or in person. Past or current caregivers, health professionals, other human services providers, persons diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer’s, members of faith groups, and persons in the community involved in other community impacting groups are invited to join.

Nassau County Council on Aging is a key partner of the Florida Department of Health in Nassau County on this initiative . “Nassau County Council on Aging is proud to be a part of the Healthy Brain Initiative,” said Lili High, Program Operations Director. “We currently have a robust program for both seniors with a form of dementia, as well as the family caregivers who support them 24/7. Additional resources will only increase our capacity to help provide training and education to this growing population.”

People living with dementia and their family caregivers require support as cognitive, behavioral, and physical functioning worsens over time. Adults ages 55 years and older represent 38.3% of the Nassau County population (2020), an age segment that is at greater risks for developing Alzheimer’s. A strategic public health response is needed to alleviate this impact on all communities.

Our long-term goal is to become a Dementia Friendly Community, one that connects all parts of a community to ensure persons with Alzheimer’s or related dementias and their caregivers feel understood, are given the resources and services they need, are valued, and able to contribute to their community.

For more information or to volunteer to participate, please contact Barb Baptista at 904-753- 1258 or Barbara.Baptista@flhealth.gov.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov .

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