Baptist Health’s high school mentoring program receives national Hospital Charitable Service Award
February 28, 2016 | Jacksonville, FL
A Baptist Health mentoring program for at-risk high school students is receiving national recognition.
The Tipping the Scale Adolescent and Advocacy Intervention Mentoring Program has been named one of 10 hospital outreach programs nationally awarded for innovative approaches to impacting lives in local underserved communities.
The winning programs share equally in $100,000 of unrestricted funds offered through the Hospital Charitable Service Awards, a national program sponsored by Atlanta-based Jackson Healthcare.
Tipping the Scale Adolescent and Advocacy Intervention Mentoring Program started in 1999 and works with at-risk high school students to increase grade point averages, graduation rates, develop career goals, increase self-esteem and reduce incarceration.
The mentoring program is a collaboration between Baptist Health and The Bridge of Northeast Florida, an after-school program for vulnerable youth. Baptist Health volunteers provide one-on-one mentoring; the chaplaincy program at Baptist Health provides spirituality group sessions; a job readiness program provides job skills and communication training specialists help to improve verbal and non-verbal communications skills. Students in Duval County are transported to Baptist Health for weekly mentoring by one of its faith community partners, St. Paul A.M.E. Church of Jacksonville.
Summer employment at Baptist Health is also provided where students work throughout the health system with mentors who teach them professional and technical skills needed to complete their tasks successfully.
More than 1,700 youth have participated in The Tipping the Scale Adolescent and Advocacy Intervention Mentoring Program during the past 16 years. The $10,000 received from the award will be used to help support the program and employ additional students.
“We were honored to be selected out of more than 400 programs nationally for this recognition,” said Lynn Sherman, director of Community Engagement for Baptist Health. “Our goal is to equip students with the tools they need to pursue gainful employment, higher education and to become successful members of society. By working alongside professional mentors at Baptist Health, the students see that their dreams and possibilities are within reach.”
In the summer of 2014, Baptist Health expanded the Tipping the Scale program model to Nassau County by partnering with the Boys and Girls Clubs in Fernandina Beach. Students from two clubs are transported weekly to Baptist Medical Center Nassau for mentoring sessions.
The community health programs that were recognized nationally for the Hospital Charitable Service Awards spanned from small to large cities in Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Washington.
Another Baptist Health program was recognized as one of 52 hospital programs that were finalists. The Partnerships for a Healthier Community started with a partnership in 2014 between Baptist Health and the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast and the opening of the first Y Healthy Living Center. The Baptist Health program now involves Y Healthy Living Centers in the greater Jacksonville neighborhoods of Mandarin and Ponte Vedra Beach. Baptist Health also has a partnership with the Jewish Community Alliance entitled, “Wellness Connexion,” which involves Baptist Health wellness coaches working onsite at the Jewish Community Alliance six days a week and providing JCA fitness center members with a more comprehensive approach to achieving their personal health and wellness goals.
Jackson Healthcare started the Hospital Charitable Services Awards in 2010 to identify high–impact community health programs, share their stories and offer them as models for other communities to replicate.