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Wellness Rx program aims to improve Jacksonville's health

New Town Success Zone, Mayo Clinic kick off program with Saturday event

File photo
File photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Mayo Clinic is partnering with New Town Success Zone to launch an 18-month community program called Wellness Rx. The program will be hosting a kick-off event on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Edward Waters College, where citizens will have the opportunity to speak with experts to identify personal health goals.

Wellness Rx aims to empower the Jacksonville community with information and opportunities to sustain an overall healthier physical, mental and emotional lifestyle.

In 2015, a Community Health Needs Assessment was conducted to identify health needs in the community. The assessment determined health disparities, mental health, and obesity as significant areas of concern for the Mayo Clinic to target.

“Heart disease is the No. 1 killer for all Americans, and stroke is also a leading cause of death,” said Dr. Floyd Willis, assistant professor of family medicine at Mayo Clinic. “The good news is, we can improve the odds of preventing and beating these diseases by understanding the risks and taking simple steps to address them.”

Smoking, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes are the most common conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Luckily, they can be monitored safely with regular exercise and dieting playing a key role. Citizens who join the program will have their names and goals captured in a database, and programming will be developed to support their initiative.

“We will feel successful if, in 18 months, citizens who have self-identified goals and needs feel they have not only met their goals, but have sufficient tools to consistently maintain their accomplishments,” said George Maxey, executive director of New Town Success Zone.

The kick-off event will also include blood pressure screenings, grocery giveaways and CPR training.