Amy first became interested in health care while working toward her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Florida State University. As an undergrad, she worked closely with children on the Autism Spectrum and adults with Traumatic Brain Injuries. She also assisted in research on adults suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Her unique experiences at FSU led her to a career in health care education, which she launched as Community Liaison for Chipola Healthy Start Coalition. Later, she served locally as Director of Admissions and Marketing for Chipola Health and Rehabilitation Center and as Provider Relations Representative for Covenant Care. Excited about her return to the Coalition, she is committed to improving the community’s lack of knowledge regarding the resources available to them.
“It is my passion to ensure our communities not only have the ability to access services, but also knowledge of how these services can impact their quality of life and that of future generations. I am enthusiastic to be working for the Coalition again as Program Director. My current position allows me to proactively ensure clients receive the best version of care and coordination available, thus improving local birth outcomes and upholding the healthy start mission.”
Originally from Calhoun County, Whitney Tharp was so happy to join the Healthy Start Program. A radiology tech for the past seven years, Whitney is excited to be working in her local community.
“I think Healthy Start is a wonderful program that benefits our community. I have enjoyed this new journey, and it has been a wonderful experience meeting and helping new clients. I have met so many great people of the community and can’t wait for what the future holds!
Nena was raised in Marianna and moved to Tampa a few years ago. When she returned recently, she noticed the care coordinator position advertised with Healthy and immediately applied. Thankful to be selected, she was excited about helping mothers and their children, especially working with mothers during their pregnancies and newborn babies.
“The program is a great and needed in this community. Mothers need guidance, someone to talk to, helpful information, support, assistance, and a friend. It is a blessing to be able to be all of that and more just by working with Healthy Start.
Gina has enjoyed her work since joining Holmes County Healthy Start. She was born in Bonifay and looks forward to a long career helping local mothers and babies.
“Healthy Start makes such a big difference to moms, babies, and their families throughout Holmes County. It’s great to be part of the team!”
Building on a professional career, including diverse experiences that combine well to serve the Coalition, Angela has been a teacher in Jackson County and a Dependency Care Manager at DCF. She has also served the developmentally disadvantaged community. She is working on a Psychology degree at The Baptist College of Florida, her second degree, having already earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English. Often volunteering at her church, she’s also helps at local animal shelters.
“Joining the Chipola team is a great opportunity to serve our community in an important way. I look forward to being part of our community activities and helping our leadership achieve the goals of the Coalition.”
The Chipola Healthy Start Coalition hosted 750 participants during its recent third annual Community Baby Shower held at Rivertown Community Church in Marianna. This free event was open to all families expecting a baby or with children under age three residing in Calhoun, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, or Washington counties. Each family received much needed baby supplies, which included diapers and handmade newborn caps, and care items for mom. Community partners and local healthcare providers, such as, Jackson Hospital, Early Learning Coalition, WIC, and Marianna Fire and Rescue, were on hand to answer questions, and to assist families with any necessary services and provide education on topics like how to have a healthy pregnancy, best practices for keeping babies safe, tips to quit smoking, and how to connect to other community resources. Members of the Chipola College Nursing Program were also on hand to conduct wellness checks during the event.
Each agency participating in the event, along with other community partners such as Farm Share, West Florida Electric, Ice River Springs, Chipley Piggly Wiggly, Ameris Bank of Blountstown and Blountstown Drugs, all donated door prizes and other items, which were also given away during the event. All attendees were treated to lunch provided by Sysco Gulf Coast and made complete with cupcakes baked by the culinary departments at Marianna High School and Blountstown High School. Several local daycares helped by making the decorations, and volunteers from Cottondale High School Beta Club, Rivertown Community Church, Knights of Columbus and the Pilot Club of Marianna donated their time to help with the event.
The overwhelming generosity of the community helped to make this year’s Community Baby Shower a truly amazing event for everyone who attended. To find out how you can help give babies a healthy start, please contact Chipola Healthy Start toll-free at 1-866-591-2852 or visit www.chipolahealthystart.org.