National Health Corps (NHC) Florida’s mission is to foster healthy communities by connecting those who need it most with health and wellness education, benefits and services, while developing tomorrow’s compassionate health leaders. NHC members complete 1,700 hours of service during terms that usually last 42-46 weeks. Members conduct service activities at partner organizations, called “host sites,” that typically focus on: 1) addressing the opioid and prescription drug overuse crisis, 2) increasing older adults’ ability to remain in their homes with the same or improved quality of life; and/or 3) increasing physical activity and improving nutrition to reduce obesity and related chronic conditions. Members are assigned a host site mentor who provides mentorship and access to professional development opportunities at the host site. Members also participate in ongoing professional development, team-building, and additional outside/group service and committee activities. NHC and its partners strive to ensure that members can contribute to the capacity and reach of their host sites and have a rewarding experience that exposes them to a variety of health-focused careers.
Florida’s diverse population allows members to be involved with different aspects of public health medicine and see the effects healthcare access has on Northeast Florida. Providing healthcare and social services that support military families, homeless populations, refugee populations, at-risk youth, people suffering from substance use disorder, HIV+/AIDS clients, LGBTQIA+ youth and so much more. Typically, members will spend their day-to-day service hours providing individual and group health education on topics such as nutrition, physical activity, mental health, diabetes management, parenting, addiction prevention, safe sex, sexually transmitted infections, injury prevention, child care, and ensuring a safe pregnancy. Members may also provide health assessments at any of our 5 major hospitals such as UF Health Shands Jacksonville Medical Center and Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital, create community health events and initiatives, address gaps in healthcare settings through relationships with community organizations such as Gateway Community Services, and link clients to needed health services. NHC Florida’s rigorous training standards allow members to walk away with various essential public health practice skills, medical practice skills, professional knowledge and experience with factors that affect everyday healthcare systems.