Beyond the hospital: A decade of caring for the community

THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children’s Hospital celebrates 10th anniversary.

Jacksonville, FL -

Much of what contributes to good health starts at home, early in life: nutritious eating habits, safety practices like car seat and booster seat use, and routine medical care.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, which was founded to serve as the hospital’s advocacy arm, improving the health, wellness and quality of life for families across Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. The Center focuses on:

  • Childhood injury prevention
  • Community education about health and nutrition
  • Access to health care services for children and families
  • Legislative advocacy that supports children’s health, state and nationwide

THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health was made possible by an initial gift of $1 million from THE PLAYERS Championship in 2011. This Wolfson Children’s advocacy Center officially launched in 2012.

The Center’s reach was later expanded by an additional gift of $2 million from THE PLAYERS in 2016, which was matched 150% by Baptist Health, for a total investment of $5 million.

“In the last 10 years, we’ve served hundreds of thousands of families by providing child passenger safety, safe sleep education, high-risk asthma management, Florida KidCare enrollment assistance, school-based health programming, and advocacy at the state and federal level on policies to improve the health of children,” said Megan Denk, executive director of THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health. “Countless families have told us they were able to make more informed decisions about things like safe sleep environments. For other families, we have been able to help secure stable housing and identify other community resources to help them. We’re thankful to THE PLAYERS for their support in allowing our team to provide critical resources to our community.”

Along with Baptist Health and Wolfson Children’s Hospital, the Center responds to the findings of Community Health Needs Assessments. These reports help shape new programming that families want and need.

Today, THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health is home to:

  • Safe Kids Northeast Florida, which offers classes and resources to teach parents about water safety, infant safe sleep, bike and pedestrian safety, hot car and car seat safety, and much more. This includes programs like free car seat checks at Subaru of Jacksonville to ensure seats are installed correctly and parents can use them confidently.
  • The Community Asthma Partnership, which provides free educational programs for families, schools and health care providers to reduce the number of medical emergencies caused by asthma (the third-leading cause of child hospitalizations). The program is supported by C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry.
  • Wolfson Children’s @ School, a school-based health service that helps eliminate barriers to health care for students in high-risk areas.
  • Family Links, a program that connects families with community resources to address social needs that impact children’s health, such as access to transportation and food insecurity. The program is supported by the Jim and Tabitha Furyk Foundation.
  • A team that helps families navigate insurance enrollment and other potential barriers to care.

“At Wolfson Children’s, we believe that truly supporting children’s health means advocating for infants, kids and teens beyond hospital walls,” said Michael D. Aubin, FACHE, president of Wolfson Children’s Hospital. “THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health allows us to connect with families in our community and address the root causes of pediatric health concerns in ways that make a real, tangible impact.”

To learn more about services provided by THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, click here or call 904.202.WELL (9355).