The North Florida area is home to over a million residents and a diverse number of pressing health needs. In response to the existing health disparities, Jacksonville hosts many agencies which provide crucial services to those in need. As part of the National Health Corps Florida, members become an intricate part of the community, providing many important services to those in need. One of the most powerful aspects of the NHC Florida is that it is made up of unique individuals with fresh ideas and unbridled optimism who believe that we can individually and collectively help change the world.
A lot of people have the desire to make a difference; all too often, they just don’t know how to do it or where to start. By becoming a part of the National Health Corps Florida, members are provided with the tools and opportunities to begin making tangible and measurable differences in the community, and they are given the resources and inspiration to continue a life of service long after their commitment to AmeriCorps has been fulfilled. Visit How to Apply to start the application process.
Over the course of the service term, members participate in a variety of activities in addition to their Host-Site Service, including Pre-Service Orientation, Training, Member Meetings, Local Service Projects, Member Committees, Administrative Responsibilities, Volunteer Recruitment, a mid-year Retreat, and an end of year Recognition Ceremony.
The service activities that members provide during their term of service vary depending on the site where they serve. Examples of some of the services members provide are: teaching health education workshops on topics such as diabetes, nutrition, tobacco use and preconception/ inteconceptional health; enrolling patients in health insurance, prescription medication assistance programs and Healthy Start; HIV testing and counseling; and promoting and coordinating health screenings and immunization campaigns. Visit our Position Descriptions section to learn more about what NHC Florida members do at their host sites.
Pre-Service Orientation is provided by the National Health Corps Florida during the first three weeks of the program year. It prepares members for their AmeriCorps year of service by providing basic knowledge about the history of AmeriCorps and the National Health Corps, as well as training in soft professional skills such as effective communication, teambuilding, project planning, group dynamics, and organizational culture. PSO is the time when members begin to develop the friendships that will last throughout the year and beyond.
Members receive training on a regular basis throughout the year both through the NHC Florida and their host sites. Training is designed to provide members with a set of core competencies that are critical to their successfully completing their term of service. The six NHC member core competencies are: Public Health, Public Health Practice Skills, Cultural Competency, Communication, Professional Development, and Civic Engagement. In addition, members have the opportunity gain individual learning experiences within public health that are related to their future career goals through specialized trainings and exposure to the needs of the community they are currently serving by collaborating together to meet this goal.
Members meet monthly to share experiences and reflect on their service, plan service projects, complete committee tasks, and continue building an esprit de corps. Attendance at meetings is mandatory for all members.
Throughout the year, members participate in group service projects independent of their sites that meet the needs of the community. These service projects allow members to interact with other AmeriCorps members, community sites, and volunteers.
Members are expected to serve on one or more committees during their term of service. Doing so helps them develop leadership, professional skills, and teambuilding skills. Committees include: service project committee, communications committee, professional development committee, learning series committee, and corps support committee.
All members have administrative duties related to their service including keeping an accurate record of hours served, services provided, workshops performed, and volunteers recruited.
Recruiting volunteers is an element of all AmeriCorps programs, because developing a cadre of volunteers helps programs and communities sustain the services provided by members after the program ends. While some members serve at sites where volunteer recruitment is the primary activity, all members are expected to recruit volunteers while in service.
The member retreat occurs roughly half way through the service year. It is a time of rest, relaxation, reflection, and recharge. Retreats are also a way of further developing a team spirit.
The member Recognition Ceremony caps off the program year with an evening filled with appreciation speeches, member and staff reflections, awarding of certificates, and the celebration of a job well done.