Connecting People, Help and Hope


Empty Bowls Event Tickets Now on Sale!

Tickets are now on sale at for the third annual Barnabas Empty Bowls fundraiser at Atlantic Recreation Center on November 14 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Seat reservations are $30 and you'll get a free handcrafted bowl to take home as a reminder of all the empty bowls remaining in our community and in the world. What is Empty Bowls? An empty bowl is the symbol of hunger. In support of our neighbors coping with poverty and hunger, Barnabas is hosting a simple meal of soup, bread, and dessert contributed by local businesses. Purchase your Empty Bowls tickets today at before the event sells out!

October Q&A: Barnabas Health Services with John Bowls 

Our Health Services manager, John Bowls, talks to us this month about our how we provide comprehensive primary and preventative medical care, along with dental, mental health and other health services.

What types of health services are offered at Barnabas?
Since 2005, we've been providing quality health care services to uninsured, low-income adult residents of Nassau County. We then recognized the connection between diminished physical health and poor oral hygiene, so in 2007 we began offering dental services, which is the county's only low-cost dental program of its kind. In 2014, we expanded our medical and dental services, adding primary medical care, mental health services, vision and hearing screenings, mammograms and chronic disease management. And, we just added a nutrition services program that offers individualized nutrition counseling and education to help patients better manage their chronic diseases, diabetes, weight loss efforts and more. Over the past decade, we have become a "medical home" for adults who have no other place to turn for affordable and comprehensive health services.

How many patients are helped by Barnabas Health Services each year?
We are proud to share the substantial impact of our services in our community. In the past fiscal year, July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, for medical services we helped 929 unduplicated patients with 2,309 visits, and for dental services we helped 715 unduplicated patients with 2,326 visits.  These services restored health and kept patients out of the emergency room.

Who is eligible for these services and where are they provided?
We believe financial hardship shouldn't prevent people from obtaining quality healthcare. Medical and dental services are provided to adults on a sliding fee basis based on income, which must be at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. The best way to access our services is to call and make an appointment at our Fernandina Beach office, where all of our services are based. Limited services also are offered in our new Callahan location.

Who provides the many services offered?
Our various health services are provided by caring, dedicated health professionals and volunteers who take the time to educate each patient, ensuring, for example, they know how to take their medications, eat properly, check their blood sugar, and follow other healthcare instructions. Also, our new nutrition services are being offered through a partnership with the University of North Florida dietetic interns who are providing nutrition education and counseling to our medical patients and clients of our Food Pantry.

How does Barnabas fund the Health Services programs?
We know community partnerships are vital to continuing and expanding our programs and services. That's why we are deeply grateful to the many generous donors and in-kind supporters who team up with us to provide Nassau County residents in need with quality healthcare. Most notably, Baptist Medical Center Nassau and Baptist Health have provided funding to support the expansion of our programs and the services of a medical director. The Baptist Health system provides critical support by contributing lab services, x-rays, testing, mammograms, medications and other essential services to our patients. Baptist's in-kind donation for this past fiscal year was more than $1.7 million! Our other generous partners include: Florida Blue Foundation, Florida Department of Health, Vision Is Priceless, CW Vision, Speech and Hearing Center of Jacksonville,Roddy-Holden Foundation, Delta Dental Foundation, the Women's Giving Alliance and others. Vital health services are also provided through the Nassau Cares network and include the following physicians:  Scott Ackerman (First Coast Oncology), Clarence Boudreaux & Russell Metz (Beaches Dermatology), Andrew Halperin (Baptist Ob/Gyn Group), Gil Cu (Nephrology), Harvey, Phillip & Whittaker (Borland-Grover Clinic), Kevin Lin (Precision Chiropractic), George LeBert (Cardiology) and Alan Miller (Coastal Spine Center).  We could not offer our Health Services programs without their continued support.

What successes have you witnessed by patients who are receiving services?
Two of our recent successes are quite remarkable and we like to share them as a testament to the critical importance of the impact of our services in Nassau County. First, a 50-year-old man with a long history of tobacco use and leg pain had been treated many times in various hospital emergency departments. But the pain continued to worsen so he sought help from the Barnabas primary care program. We determined he had significant arterial disease and he also developed chest pain. Through our partnerships, he was treated by a Baptist Health heart specialist and underwent several procedures. He is now on medication, his pains are lessening and he has quit smoking. Our second success involves a 40-year-old woman with a history of uncontrolled diabetes. A year ago, she began treatment through our primary care program and gained control of her blood sugar with medication, diet modifications and regular follow-ups. She also has a history of cervical cancer, which we are monitoring with periodic testing. She was able to be seen by a Baptist Health gynecologist for a biopsy that was paid by a patient assistance fund we secured for her. Now her health issues are being controlled and she is committed to more closely tracking her health.

How do Nassau County residents in need obtain Barnabas Health Services?
Information is available and appointments are made by calling our main Fernandina Beach office at (904) 261-7000 or (888) 885-6498 x128 (se habla EspaƱol)Monday through Thursday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

Welcome Maria Tran to Our Health Services Team

Join us in welcoming Maria Tran to our Health Services staff. She is our new patient care coordinator, providing one-on-one patient discharge planning, specialty care referral tracking and chronic disease education. Maria graduated from the University of Rochester with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and a minor in Clinical Psychology. She also is a New York State certified Emergency Medical Technician - Basic (EMT-B). Previously, she was an AmeriCorps St. Louis Emergency Response Team member, and a part of the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team Command Staff who served as planning chief during the recent Louisiana flood response. Maria is from Syracuse, NY. After recently completing her AmeriCorps service term in St. Louis, she moved to Fernandina Beach to be a part of the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program to serve at Barnabas. National Health Corps Florida (NHC) is a National Direct AmeriCorps Service program. 

Barnabas Center Benefits From Jacksonville Magazine's Inaugural Great Chefs of Amelia Island Culinary Competition
At the inaugural Great Chefs of Amelia Island culinary competition, presented by Jacksonville Magazine, Team Beaches wins the title of Great Chefs of Amelia Island and Barnabas Center is thankful to receive the generous donation of $7,250 from the event proceeds and silent auction. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island hosted the recent Great Chefs of Amelia Island event, which featured some of the best restaurants of Amelia Island. Winning Team Beaches included Daniel Iammarino, BarZin Bistro & Wine Bar, Niko Anagnostou, Coast at The Ritz-Carlton, and Daven Wardynski, Omni Amelia Island Resort. Opposing Team Fernandina included Scotty Schwartz, 29 South, Chad Livingston, Burlingame Restaurant, and Kenny Gilbert, Gilbert's Underground Kitchen. One hundred thirty diners were treated to a delicious three-course meal created by each team. The diners then judged each course, picking one favorite dish from the two served. Many attendees bid on beautiful artisan bowls made by local artists during the silent auction and all the bowls were sold.

Barnabas in Top 1% of Charities Nationwide

Barnabas has again achieved the coveted four-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's premier charity evaluator. Four stars is the highest rating possible for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. We have received the four-star evaluation for 10 consecutive years. Only 1% of rated charities nationwide achieve this status, indicating that Barnabas Center outperforms most other charities in America. Ken Berger, CEO of Charity Navigator, said, "This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Barnabas Center from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust."

Barnabas New to You Resale Store

Fall is here and the Barnabas New to You Resale Store has some exciting activities planned.  Monday, October 10th is the 2nd annual Resale Roundup with our neighbor, Nassau Humane Society's Second Chance store.  Look for yummy treats & amazing sales!  Saturday, October 22nd is the Consignment Crawl and Resale Store Tour, a.k.a. "the Fall Crawl". This event features the Barnabas New to You Resale Store and 9 other local resale stores participating in a day-long event promoting the savings and surprises of shopping at local resale stores.   You won't want to miss this special day - what a great opportunity to get a start on your holiday shopping.

Did you know New to You has its own newsletter? Stay up to date with all things New to You by signing up here


Your Monthly Donation Could Help Fulfill Daily 
Needs in Our Community
Every day in our community, our Nassau County neighbors struggle to make decisions about putting food on their tables, paying rent or utility bills, and purchasing medications or gas for transportation. Consequently, these individuals and families seek help from Barnabas for a range of services, including food, emergency rent and utility payments, medical and dental care, and much more. The daily need for services never ends, so would you please consider helping our neighbors by establishing a recurring, monthly donation to help us provide these essentials? Your monthly gift allows you to spread the payments across the year, lessening your larger, one-time financial impact. Plus, your recurring donation helps Barnabas improve its long-range planning and decision-making. Please visit Barnabas' secure online donation page to set up your recurring donation. Or click on "Donate Now" below. Thank you, in advance, for your consideration and willingness to help our neighbors in need.

Help & Hope Report July- September 2016

  •  New To You resale store aided 53 households in need of clothing and home goods
  • Barnabas helped stabilize 66 households with rent, mortgage and utility payments and provided 8 bikes through the Bikes for Barnabas program
  • Barnabas provided 35,722 pounds of food to 966 households
  • Barnabas instructed 10 households with cooking & nutrition classes through our Cooking Matters program
  • Barnabas Health Services treated 570 patients with medical, dental and mental health services
  • Barnabas provided crisis intervention services and counseling to 30 women through the Women's Health Initiative Nassau grant program 

Upcoming Events
October 14th                            Callahan Food Distribution  
                                                45103 Green St.
                                                Callahan, FL 32011

October 18th                            Volunteer Orientation
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.             Barnabas Conference Room

October 26th                           Vision Screening
9:00 a.m. - 12 p.m.                  Barnabas Health Services

November 9th                         Cooking Matters Begins
                                                Barnabas Food Pantry

November 14th                       Empty Bowls Luncheon
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.             Atlantic Rec Center       

Barnabas Is Now On Facebook! 

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